Tennis News Naomi Osaka Overcomes US Open Disappointment, Wins China Open

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Beijing: An emotional Naomi Osaka said that she had atoned for the disappointment of the US Open after beating world number one Ashleigh Barty in the China Open final on Sunday. In the men’s draw, top seed Dominic Thiem recovered from a set down against Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim the 15th singles title of his career. The 21-year-old Osaka has had a turbulent year, winning the Australian Open but then suffering a dip in form which included exiting Flushing Meadows in the last 16. But the two-time Grand Slam champion from Japan surged back to win her home Pan Pacific Open last month and made it back-to-back titles with victory in Beijing. Osaka defeated teenage US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and then French Open winner Barty on the way to the fifth crown of her young career. Winning in Japan and China had been her aim after the US Open letdown, where she was the defending champion and top seed. “I don’t want to say I planned (it), but I really meditated on it. It just feels like I accomplished what I set out to do,” she said. “I didn’t play those two tournaments for myself, I kind of played them for my team because the US Open wasn’t that great and I felt very apologetic.”Also Read | Naomi Osaka Splits With Coach For Second Time In Year After Poor SeasonBut Osaka admitted that she had been driven to tears after going down in the first set to Australia’s Barty, before powering back to win the final 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. “In the first set all I could think about was how much I wanted to win and I was pretty emotional,” said the former number one, now ranked fourth. Among the changes after the US Open, the young Japanese brought her father Leonard Francois on board as her coach. It has proved successful in a short time but Osaka does not see it as a long-term arrangement. “He doesn’t like watching my matches. I think it stresses him out because he twitches every time I hit a ball,” she smiled.Also Read | Bianca Andreescu Cherishing Rivalry With Naomi Osaka, Sumit Nagal ProgressesThe beaten Barty said that her slice shot, a major weapon of the Australian’s, was “nullified” because of the cool conditions in the Chinese capital. But the top-ranked 23-year-old said: “I’m extremely proud. Proud that myself, my team, we turn up for every single tournament, regardless of when it is during the year, what the conditions are like.” The Australian, who took a break from tennis five years ago and played cricket instead, is relishing more showdowns in the future against Osaka and Andreescu, two other major talents. “I think it’s an exciting opportunity for all three of us,” she said. Thiem wins 15th title The Austrian Thiem defeated Greece’s third seed Tsitsipas 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 for the men’s crown. The 26-year-old beat former world number one Andy Murray on the way to the title and had also booked his spot in the prestigious season-ending ATP Finals. Thiem strolled to the crown in the deciding set against Tsitsipas, who at 21 is a rising star of men’s tennis. last_img read more

Toby Roland-Jones: a thrilling throwback to the classic English seamer

first_imgBy Richard EdwardsTOBY Roland-Jones became the first cricketer with a double-barrelled surname to play for England since 1935 when he made his Test bow against South Africa at the Oval last week.His appearance, though, was a throwback in more ways than one.Bowling with an action that wouldn’t be far off a coach’s dream, Roland-Jones delivered the kind of back-to-basics performance that wasn’t sexy but was mightily effective.It was left to Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali to steal the show in a Test that made England’s previous performance at Trent Bridge seem little more than a distant nightmare. Roland-Jones’ debut, meanwhile, was the stuff of dreams.On a pitch that offered him assistance throughout, the Middlesex man put the ball on the proverbial sixpence and couldn’t have been better value for his match-figures of eight for 129.At a time when more and more emphasis is placed on pace, he once again reminded the Test match lovers of this country that the rudimental skills of the great English seamer are as much a part of the summer as strawberries and cream and Royal Ascot.No 90mph thunderbolts – just the priceless ability to jag the ball off the seam at a reasonable pace coupled with a nagging line and length that none of the South Africans ever looked comfortable against.“Since 2005 we’ve focused a lot on pace,” says former England seamer Phil DeFreitas, himself no stranger to the qualities that are so abundant in the 29-year-old new boy.“Yes, we had Matthew Hoggard who swung the ball and obviously Jimmy Anderson but there has been more of an emphasis on getting the ball down the other end as quickly as possible.“Roland-Jones has decent pace but he moves the ball off a classic English length and that was what really stood out for me. He was always making the batsmen play.”His Monday dismissals of Temba Bavuma and Vernon Philander were a classic illustration of the skills he has brought to this side. Both men were LBW, with Bavuma playing with his bat behind his pad to cover any away movement from the man whose hat-trick sealed the County Championship for Middlesex at Lords last September.Philander was then all at sea against a fuller delivery first ball – a ball that was idiosyncratic of Roland-Jones’ relentlessly accurate approach from the moment he was thrown the ball by captain Joe Root in the Oval gloom on Friday night.(The Independent)last_img read more

EURO 2020: UEFA Apologies to Fans over Ticket Cancellations

first_imgUEFA has apologised for a technical error over Euro 2020 tickets that has left fans hundreds of pounds out of pocket.A new batch of tickets for this summer’s tournament was made available on Wednesday for fans unsuccessful in the initial ballots.Fans who thought they had secured tickets then also bought flights and accommodation – but received an email hours later from European football’s governing body to say the transactions had been cancelled. “Tickets became available due to the failure of supporters to pay on time for tickets they had previously ordered. These tickets were subsequently sold,” said a statement.“However, due to a technical error, for a short period of time a small number of tickets which were not for sale were made available for purchase.“Fans who purchased those tickets received a cancellation email and no charge was made to their credit cards,” added Uefa, which says ‘a couple of hundred’ fans in England were affected.James Lofthouse from Torquay thought he had four tickets for England’s match with the Czech Republic on Tuesday, 23 June and two for the game with one of the play-off winners – which could be Scotland – on Friday, 19 June.He spent 90 minutes in an online queue on the UEFA website before spending £700 on six tickets.“I then got together with my friends to book hotels for London,” he told BBC Sport.“I went for a non-refundable deal because I didn’t think there was any reason the tickets would be cancelled. That was £200 that left my account that I won’t get back.“There was no apology in the email and that is very, very poor.”Tom Lowman thought he had tickets for him and his son to watch the attractive Group F fixture between Germany and Portugal in Munich on Saturday, 20 June.He then bought non-refundable return flights from Manchester for £510, before receiving an email hours later to say the match tickets had been cancelled.“I was incredibly fed up last night,” he said.“But the real frustration is that there is no real comeback. You go on UEFA’s website and there is no way of getting in contact with anybody.“It is a terrible way to treat your customers. They’re hiding. Let’s see if they come back and offer to refund my flights but my guess is nothing will happen.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

USC plays more than just host at Special Olympics

first_imgThe closing ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games on Aug. 2 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum concluded the world’s largest humanitarian and sports event of the year. Yet the spirit of inclusivity and determination that characterized the eight-day competition can be seen in programs that live on at USC, which acted as the central hub for the Games.The Games commenced on July 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with first lady Michelle Obama, Jimmy Kimmel, Justin Bieber, Michael Phelps and dozens of other celebrities and heads of state on hand to celebrate. The Coliseum, home of the USC Trojans, previously hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics Games.Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the 1960s, the Special Olympics operates on regional, national and global levels in hosting competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The first International Special Olympics Games was held in 1968 at Chicago’s Soldier Field with only 100 fans in the stands cheering athletes on.In contrast, this year’s opening ceremony was sold out with 62,338 people on hand to witness the historic event.The 6,500 Special Olympics athletes from all around the world were housed for the week in two separate athlete villages: one at USC and the other at UCLA.  The Trojans also hosted basketball events at the Galen Center, aquatics competitions at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center and track and field events at Cromwell Field and Loker Stadium.The World Games’ Nerve Center, the digital heartbeat of the Games, was also based at USC, in the Forum at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. The Games Operating Committee’s Digital Strategy and Social Media team, as well as volunteers from Google and YouTube who assisted in the viral management of L.A. 2015 coverage, were all stationed here.“Google is a corporate sponsor, so the Google volunteers organized all of the incoming media and posting images and videos onto the Games’ social networks so people could stay connected,” said Scott Newman, a Google software engineer. Newman is one of 50 volunteers who came to Los Angeles from Google offices around the world.Some Google employees also participated in “Fans in the Stands,” an organized program to manage spectatorship of the World Games competitions. Other corporations who came out in large numbers to participate in “Fans in the Stands” were LA 2015 partners Deloitte and Kaiser Permanente, as well as Disney.With tens of thousands of athletes, staff, volunteers and spectators coming to USC’s campus each day for the competitions, the event came to encompass the Trojan spirit.“I’ve seen USC being pretty busy, but it has really been a wonderful experience to see all the teams bring a higher energy to campus,” said Vishnuprasad Chandrasekaran, a graduate student starting his final year at the Viterbi School of Engineering.Students and faculty from the Ostrow School of Dentistry also volunteered with “Special Smiles,” the dentistry division of the Healthy Athletes program. Started in 1997, Healthy Athletes provides free medical check-ups and gear, such as prescription eyeglasses or properly fitting shoes, for any and all Special Olympics athletes.Physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and the USC Davis School of Gerontology also contributed to the Healthy Athletes initiative. Though people with intellectual disabilities suffer from higher rates of morbidity and mortality as well as a lower quality of life than those without, USC’s health care volunteers were able to teach the athletes about preventative health and lifestyle habits, such as the use of sunblock and healthy eating.“The experience has been amazing,” said Dr. Santosh Sundaresan, section chair of Community Health Programs at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and a dentist participating in Special Smiles. Special Smiles has been able to provide free mouthguards, crowns, root canals and cleanings for Special Olympics athletes, and this opportunity has benefitted the university as much as it has helped out the athletes.“USC is known for its community outreach programs. Dental, medical, you name it, and we’re there. That’s our forte. But these games especially have been magnificent. It’s an eye opener in many ways,” said Sundaresan.Trojans who happened to be on campus, either during their vacation or for the summer session, could not ignore the pervasive spirit of the Special Olympics. Crowds of campus tours walked past the World Games Festival in USC’s Alumni Park and the Healthy Athletes tents in McCarthy Quad, while USC students engaged in their studies next to volunteers from all over Southern California.But perhaps most importantly, USC played host to the greatest intersection of disability, ability and diplomacy on the planet.At the World Games, participants and spectators did away with the obstacles faced by people with intellectual disabilities, instead placing the spotlight on the tremendous accomplishments achieved by these athletes and international pioneers.“These athletes who are participating in the World Games are phenomenal people,” Sundaresan said. “Their willpower [and] their whole attitude [are] just mind-blowing.”last_img read more

Manchester derby preview: Van Gaal warns his players against getting sent off

first_imgManchester United Loius Van Gaal has warned his players not to get sent off during the crucial clash against Manchester City.The 20-times English champions suffered a 1-0 defeat against the Premier League champions and saw their defender Chris Smalling get sent off in the first half in the league during the derby at Old Trafford on 12 April.  So far this season, the Dutchman has seen five of his players receive marching orders in the league, which is the worst in his managerial career. Van Gaal revealed that he has already started the preparation with the red card, but urged his players to keep their cool against City.”I have started our preparation with the red card. Control of emotions is also a talent of a player,”Van Gaal expl”You have to have a lot of talents to be a professional player, and you know when you have already a yellow card you don’t have to make a second foul to get a second.”You have to know that. But that goal is also a learning process. Shaw had also a second yellow card and Wayne had a red card, as a captain. We have five red cards this season – unbelievable. That’s not good.” “I am always warning in these kind of games that we have to control our emotion, so I hope that after all the red cards we’ve had – it’s a record in my managerial career – we don’t have any more.””I say always in such games – always – you have to control your aggression. We did not do that against City. So I hope we have learned from that moment,” the United manager stressed.United are enjoying a great run in the Premier League as they are on a five-match unbeaten run. On the other hand, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have endured a poor form away from home as they managed just one win in the last seven matches played in all competitions.–last_img read more

Slumping Dodger Jimmy Rollins bats ninth for first time in his career

first_imgARLINGTON, Texas >> In 2,090 major league starts before Tuesday, Jimmy Rollins had never batted ninth.The best trick to avoiding the nine-hole, of course, is to play for a National League team. Rollins debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in September 2000 and did not leave until he was traded to the Dodgers in December.But with the Dodgers in an American League park the last two days, they were able to use a designated hitter. Alex Guerrero drew that card Tuesday and batted eighth. Rollins batted ninth.“It’s like a second leadoff” hitter, manager Don Mattingly said. “Hopefully (Rollins) looks at it like that. I didn’t think about it, but to me in the American League, a lot of times you use it like that. You’ll put a guy like a leadoff guy in the ninth spot, and hopefully he’s a guy getting on base toward the back of the lineup, rolling it over.” Rollins didn’t exactly embrace that explanation.“You can state it anyway you want, but you’re still hitting ninth,” he said. Then he paused.“Better in the lineup than out of the lineup. In there, you can do some damage.”Fact is, Rollins hasn’t been doing much damage this season, regardless of where he’s hit in the lineup. Batting first or second until May 29, Rollins had a .210 batting average and a .278 on-base percentage when he was dropped to eighth in the order for the first time.Since then, batting no higher than sixth, Rollins is hitting .170 with a .200 on-base percentage. If anything, hitting ninth might have offered Rollins a break.“Hitting eighth, that’s a major adjustment,” he said. “That’s always been and always will be the toughest place to ever hit on a National League team, hitting in front of a pitcher. Anywhere but eighth, you’ve still got a pretty good shot to be part of the action because they’ve still got to come to you because there’s a buffer between you and the pitcher.“You can’t allow yourself to get in bad habits, which is very difficult because when you’re not hitting eighth, you’re used to a 17-inch plate. Maybe it’s 24 inches now, going both ways. You just have to not get in bad habits.”Is Rollins satisfied with how he’s adapted?“It’s an everyday thing; it doesn’t matter where you are in the lineup. In the eight-hole … they’re not going to always challenge you so you have to get used to that — you have to maybe try to expand the zone.”The numbers bear this out.Before he moved down in the lineup, Rollins was seeing an average of 2.21 pitches per plate appearance outside the strike zone. He was swinging at 31.5 percent of them.Ever since, Rollins is seeing an average of 2.93 pitches per plate appearance out of the zone and is swinging at 40 percent of them.At the time of the switch (which saw Joc Pederson assume the leadoff spot), Mattingly spoke openly about balancing the needs of the team against the needs of the player. The team, he said, would be better served by having Pederson get more plate appearances. Meanwhile Rollins, a struggling hitter, would see fewer pitches to hit.Turns out those concerns were justified — even before Rollins found himself batting ninth for the first time ever Tuesday.“You have to learn how to discipline yourself,” he said, “and it takes time.”AlsoThe pitching matchups for the final two games of the home-and-home series: Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 3.21 ERA) will oppose Wandy Rodriguez (3-2, 3.03) today, and Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.95) will oppose Colby Lewis (6-3, 4.37) on Thursday. … Hector Olivera was removed from a Triple-A game in Colorado on Monday because of altitude sickness, Mattingly said. The Dodgers’ $62.5 million infielder was not in the Oklahoma City Dodgers’ lineup again Tuesday. … Brandon Beachy faced six batters in 1 2/3 innings, and Brandon League faced four batters in one inning, and the two rehabbing pitchers did not allow a run in their rehab appearances with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. For Beachy, it was his first competitive game since 2013. The right-hander is attempting to come back from two Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow. … Outfielder Scott Van Slyke (back) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list today.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Jim Johnson suffers historic mound meltdown as Pirates sweep Dodgers

first_imgPeralta took over and allowed a three-run home run to the first batter he faced, Jung-Ho Kang. Peralta has allowed at least one run himself in three of his last four appearances.Johnson, 32, conceded the growing similarity to last season, when he fell out of favor in Oakland and was released in August.“Honestly the weirdest thing about it was one of the best nights I’ve felt with my delivery, which was the weirdest thing about it,” he said. “After we get home I’ll see if I can find anything that just stands out. Talk to Honey (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt), talk to guys who have been – you’re just trying to look for maybe that one key thing. “A little bit of luck never hurts. I felt like tonight that would’ve been needed.” The Pirates swept the three-game series from the Dodgers – their first ever sweep against the Dodgers at PNC Park, and their first in Pittsburgh since 1999.The San Francisco Giants were also swept in a four-game weekend series in Chicago, so the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West remained stuck on three games.Making his second start since the Dodgers acquired him in the trade that also brought Johnson from Atlanta, left-hander Alex Wood allowed three runs in five innings in a no-decision. He walked three batters, struck out five, and was blistered by a home run by McCutchen in his final inning.“I was surprised he swung at it, much less hit it out,” Wood said of the letter-high fastball to McCutchen. “I’m surprised he got that good of wood on it.”Wood has seen Johnson at his best this season. With the Braves, Johnson allowed 12 earned runs in 48 games. With the Dodgers, he’s equaled that total in just four games.“He’s a grinder,” Wood said of Johnson. “He’s had good ones and bad ones. He’s been doing it a long time. He’s going to be ready to take the ball when he comes to the ballpark. I’ve seen him do it all. I still have confidence in him.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Johnson is 0-2 with a blown save and a 29.45 earned-run average in four appearances since joining the Dodgers.“I can honestly say it’s one of the worst professional appearances I’ve ever had,” he said.The Pirates threatened against reliever Juan Nicasio in the sixth inning, but left the bases loaded when Andrew McCutchen grounded out to end the inning.The Dodgers weren’t as fortunate in the seventh. Johnson allowed six hits, walked a batter, and hit another batter before Don Mattingly gave him a long overdue trip to the showers. Asked what took him so long, Mattingly said “I didn’t really have many choices. The game (Saturday) ended up being a bullpen game. A couple guys were down.”center_img PITTSBURGH >> The Dodgers were trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on a Monday afternoon at Forbes Field in 1933 when a relief pitcher named Fred Heimach entered the game and allowed nine runs while recording one out.For 82 years, no Dodgers reliever allowed as many as eight runs while recording fewer than three outs until Sunday. Five miles away from the site of Forbes Field, it happened again in a stunning 13-6 loss. Maybe the biggest difference between Heimach and Jim Johnson is that Heimach’s failures weren’t exposed to the globe on ESPN and Twitter.The Dodgers were leading 5-3 when Johnson took over in the seventh inning. Ten batters later, the Pirates led 9-5 and Joel Peralta was mopping up a flood the size of the Allegheny River.last_img read more

New Urbanist from Portland to Inspire Local Leaders at Upcoming Symposium

first_imgSubmitted by NW EcoBuilding Guild “New Urbanism” is on the minds of many leaders in Thurston County, with new downtown housing developments and four mixed use “master plans” for district redevelopment taking shape in Tumwater, Lacey and Olympia.  So much that it’s the subject of an upcoming Symposium in the quarterly Vision to Action series:  “Green Urbanism:  The Sustainable Antidote to Sprawl,” to be held Saturday October 26, 8:30 am – 1:00 pm at South Puget Sound Community College’s LEED-Platinum Natural Resources Building.The Symposium will host Rex Burkholder, a new urbanist leader from Portland, Oregon as keynote speaker.  Burkholder is the former Deputy President of the Metro Regional Council, a blogger and a bicycle advocate, who will relate Portland’s experience with growth management to the new Sustainable Thurston Plan.  He’ll be followed by a panel of local development, neighborhood and environmental leaders.They will discuss elements of the draft plan which makes protecting the environment through compact urban development a top priority strategy.  Event organizers think that thousands of new residents expected to come to Thurston County in coming years offer a major opportunity to redevelop our urban corridors and make a greener, healthier, more prosperous community.“Developing new downtown housing and mixed residential/commercial areas around the sound will result in a more vibrant, economically thriving community.  It can also be safer for kids on bikes, greener and more climate friendly – if we seize the opportunity.  But can we get past our differences and agree?”  That’s the challenge the forum puts forth, according to Chris van Daalen, educator with the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild and organizer of the Vision2Action Symposium series.The event is designed not only to highlight strategies in the Sustainable Thurston plan, but also to test the water for a broad agreement among business, neighborhood and environmental leaders to move forward on the plan.  That could mean revisions to development codes and incentives to make investments more attractive, and resolving long-standing issues over waterfront development, environmental protection and who pays for growth.Yet, there seems to be a moment of opportunity.  The Guild and event cosponsors invite anyone with an active stake in the community to attend and be part of this vision-to-action conversation.Panelists will include Karen Messmer former Olympia City Council Member now with the Olympia Safe Streets Campaign; Mark Kitabayashi of the Thurston County Realtors Association, and Peter Guttchen, a local neighborhood leader.  Carol Richmond, a Member of the Olympia Planning Commission will set the local context for the discussion with a visual presentation of examples of sustainable urban design, issues and opportunities.  The presentations will be followed by lively, interactive “café style” discussions to co-design and build a brighter future.The Event is put on by a diverse partnership of sponsors, lead by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild with support from Thurston County.   Co-sponsors include the Thurston Climate Action Team, Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, Thurston County Realtors Association, and Olympia Federal Savings.  Rounding out the line-up of sponsors are the City of Olympia, the City of Tumwater and the Thurston Regional Planning Council.For more information, visit or call (360) 789-9669. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Special-ed kids fit with schoolmates

first_img“I remember when it was one teacher tapping me on the shoulder to bring their class in for reading with the special-education students,” she said. “It was done in isolation. “Now all my teachers know that they have to participate in integration and they want to. Teachers meet together for faculty meetings and discuss the kids’ progress, students are together at assemblies and they travel to each others’ classes.” Lessons go both ways Now while the special-needs children are gaining access into the world of their peers, it is the able-bodied kids who learn the most, Abril said. “By the time these kids are graduating, they have had more contact with special-needs people than some people have their whole life. They will approach special-needs children when they are in junior high and high school and hopefully it will be an experience they will carry on with them for their entire life.” Like a protective mother bear, Carol Posthumous carefully stood watch over her special-ed pupils as a boisterous group of third-graders read to them. “Teachers will bring their classes in here every so often to spend reading time with my kids,” Posthumous said. “If you watched them before they came in, you can see that they feel the increased energy in the room.” A special-education teacher for the past 12 years, Posthumous said Valley View has given her kids a chance to feel a part of their school community – something she feels is invaluable to their development. “Integration is just another way for them to experience sensory activities, experience life, experience the real world and be out in public. That’s what you want to do with them. You don’t want them sheltered; you want them out and accepted,” she said. It’s tough for some teachers and children to work with her kids, Posthumous said. They don’t speak, so it can feel like they’re not listening or otherwise connecting. Her advice before dealing with such special-needs kids is to drop any preconceieved notions. “With our kids, you can’t assume that they’re not hearing, they’re not understanding. You have to assume they are listening. They are with us to whatever extent they can.” Erin Spalding, who teaches a regular fifth-grade class, said working with special-needs children has made her look at options. “I love my regular-ed kids, but there is just something about these kids that’s special,” Spalding said. Spalding has two special-ed pupils in her class each day for at least an hour and sends several of her kids to work in special-education classrooms throughout the week. The growth she’s seen in her mainstream kids is almost as impressive as the progress made by her special-education students, she said. “Right now, there are about five children who, I could tell you, will be working with special education when they grow up. They are the kids who want to be with the special-needs kids all the time, even when there isn’t an assignment involved, and that is what it’s all about.” New friends Fifth-grader Delaney Bush has spent every recess for the past two years volunteering with these special kids. Early on, the little brown-haired girl got hooked on the reaction she could get from her new friends. “They just laugh and gleam when you give them attention,” Delaney said. She has developed an especially close relationship with 11-year-old Ashley Renteria. Therapists and aides had tried and tried to get Ashley to perform sit-ups to strengthen her back, but to no avail. One day, Delaney dropped something and dived backward in a sit-up motion to retrieve it. Ashley broke out in chuckles and since then, an abdominal workout has become a part of the two tweens’ routine. Some of Delaney’s friends don’t get it – so she suggests they try it out. “A few of my friends ask me why I spend so much time with the kids, but I really like it. I think they enjoy it when kids their own age talk to them because they don’t get that a lot.” More to be done One special-education advocate gives kudos to Valley View’s integration program, but said it’s not enough. “It’s a great initial step, but what we need to do is create schools and classrooms where all children belong together all the time,” said June Downing, a professor of special education at California State University, Northridge. “If you let these kids in as visitors, they will always be the kids that don’t belong.” Downing, who has written several books on the rights of students with disabilities to be integrated into general education classrooms, said the laws in California, dating back to 1975, clearly describe integration as a goal in special education. In California, the goal now is 80 percent integration for students with disabilities into general-education classrooms. “Research shows that if you have children together who have all the same problems, it is really hard for them to learn social skills and communication skills,” Downing said. “It is very easy to lower the expectation for these kids.” Downing said studies have also revealed the benefits of integration for able-bodied children. “For the children without disabilities, they gain sensitivity, an understanding and appreciation of differences, and they learn problem-solving by finding ways to include their different classmates,” she added. “It really is a civil-rights movement, just like it was for race at one time. We wouldn’t partially integrate kids by race today, would we?” Working toward goal Ralph Scott, manager of the California Department of Education unit in charge of monitoring special education, acknowledged that while there is a state goal, it is exactly that – a goal. “Kids have to have access to their nonhandicapped peers and cannot be isolated, but it also depends on what services are needed for the child and what their individualized education plan says,” Scott said. Scott said federal and state standardized testing also is pushing the need for integration, but it can be challenging. “A lot of it has do with the culture of the school. Some are very open, and some aren’t.” Abril admits that the road to integration wasn’t easy. “I do not have a special-education background,” the principal said. “It was a big paradigm shift for me and there was a learning process.” But the work has paid off. “The results have far exceeded my expectation,” Abril said. “Do I think we will ever be a 100 percent integrated school? Probably not. But we are taking steps toward that direction. “By far, this is the best thing we have ever done.” (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We used to have another school across the hall with its own teachers, principals and office staff, and now we are one, created with an ideal of 100 percent integration participation,” Valley View Principal Gail Abril said. Before the merger, the Los Angeles County Office of Education ran the regional education program for severely disabled children like Jeremy, kids who were isolated from other children by their disabilities. Local schools and parent advocates decided they wanted to take back their special-education program. Each elementary school district took in a specific area of disability – Valley View in the Sulphur Springs School District educates the severely disabled and medically fragile children. Despite state legislation supporting the integration of children with disabilities into mainstream classrooms, many special-education students are still separated from the other kids. That split convinced Abril to make her school a model for blending the two. NEWHALL – As he slowly lifted the basketball, the boy’s fingers tensed. His arms lifted for the launch and his lips curled into a smile. Claps and whistles followed from the crowd, sharing a piece of this accomplishment. Playing catch is more than a game for Jeremy Chalebek. A few months ago, this 11-year-old could barely hold a ball. A brain tumor when Jeremy was just 7 weeks old left him with multiple disabilities – he can’t talk, he uses a wheelchair and he’s developmentally delayed. But the hours Jeremy has spent playing catch as part of his daily interaction with able-bodied clasmates were on full display one sunny Thursday at Valley View Elementary School in Newhall, where educators are breaking ground with innovative programs that blend special education with mainstream learning. last_img read more

Adam Beach speaks to staff and students at Northern Lights College

first_imgBeach has been taking part in a number of speaking engagements as of late and the point he is trying to get across to younger people is to stay in pursuit of their given passions.“What I’m trying to promote is dreams. I’m trying to promote to challenge yourself to accomplish whatever that passion is. A lot of my friends from high school regret quitting acting to pursue a career their parents told them to do. When I see them they are so dismissed about leaving because I wasn’t the greatest actor when I started but they were amazing and if you think I’m amazing what could they have been been?”He adds when he was younger he didn’t know how he was going to reach his goal but the bottom line was to set one and to keep working hard to get to his desired point.- Advertisement -“I knew when I was 14 that I was out of here. When? I don’t know. How? I do not know but I’ll tell you what, I was going to Hollywood and nobody was going to stop me. Everybody would laugh when I was on stage but I didn’t see any of the laughter. I saw it as an appreciation and a congratulations for doing what you do because we can’t do it.”Beach currently has his attention focused on bringing movie theatres to small northern communities that will play big time movies at the same time they are released in major cities. His goal with the endeavour is not only to provide entertainment in the venture to to inspire people to get involved with film and acting.last_img read more