Governor Wolf Announces Changes to SEPTA Board

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter May 09, 2017 Governor Wolf Announces Changes to SEPTA Boardcenter_img Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Transportation Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced that Representative Dwight Evans will be stepping down from his position on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) board effective immediately. The governor has appointed Deputy Chief of Staff Obra S. Kernodle IV to fill the vacant position.“I would like to thank Representative Evans for his extensive work to secure dedicated revenues for mass transit throughout the commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf. “His many years of service has earned him a reputation as an expert in transit matters and his guidance in this capacity will be missed.”In 1991, Representative Evans helped establish the Public Transportation Assistance Fund, Act 26, the first dedicated funding source for mass transit. In 2005, Evans forged the establishment of a Transportation Funding and Reform Commission, an initiative adopted by former Governor Ed Rendell that provided strategies to stabilize transit funding. Most recently, Rep. Evans championed Act 89 of 2013, which provided a comprehensive, statewide funding plan for transportation. In 2016, he played a key role in resolving the weeklong transit strike resulting in a five-year contract for 4,738 transit personnel.Obra S. Kernodle IV will replace Representative Evans as the governor’s appointee on the SEPTA board. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kernodle is a graduate of Roman Catholic High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in 2002. Most recently, before his appointment as a member of Governor Wolf’s senior staff, Obra was a senior advisor for Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team. Prior to joining the Wolf for Governor Campaign, Obra worked in Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Administration as Deputy of Legislative Affairs, helping to coordinate the city’s Actual Value Initiative. In 2012, Obra was part of President Obama’s reelection effort as the Pennsylvania Southeast Political Director. Obra currently sits on the boards of Visit Philly and Welcome America.last_img read more

Lack of regulatory framework deterring ‘heavyweight’ capital from energy sector

first_img“We really do need more investable opportunities,” he said. “There is actually a lot more money available than there are, presently, investable opportunities.”MacDonald said institutions could be providing the “heavyweight” capital for the interconnection of energy markets.“Greater interconnection between the European grids would actually improve the efficiency of renewables because we’d be able to transport the electricity much further and much more efficiently,” he said.“That actually would improve the efficiency and reduce the unit cost of providing renewable. We can do that, simply by adjusting our existing portfolios, but the opportunities have to be there, and the regulatory framework has to be there.”MacDonald has previously criticised that many infrastructure projects were packaged in a way that was “sub-optimal” for pension funds, and called for greater risk-sharing.During the launch, Frank Pegan, chief executive of the AUD5.3bn (€3.7bn) Catholic Super and chair of the Australian and New Zealand counterpart of the IIGCC, praised the work undertaken in conjunction with the letter to launch a low-carbon investment register, which lists details for several hundred successful climate-friendly investments.“It shows we are currently investing across the whole economy in addressing carbon,” Pegan said, noting that it should hopefully act as a talking point for policymakers.Speaking on behalf of another supporter of the campaign, Anne Simpson, director of governance at the $300bn California Public Employees’ Retirement System, criticised the market failure caused by the lack of global carbon pricing and called for an end to tax subsidies to fossil fuel companies that were “distorting” investment decisions.Her views were echoed by Pegan, who described the Australian government’s recent abolition of its carbon emissions trading scheme as “backward” and said the discussion to curb the country’s renewable energy target showed there were risks across all global economies “unless we continue to push for a strong policy framework”.Anne Simpson will be discussing shareholder activism at the IPE Conference & Awards in Vienna on 20 November,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to low carbon investment register Pension funds should be providing the “heavyweight capital” to improve the cross-border connectivity of energy networks but are being held back by a lack of investment opportunities, according to a trustee at the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS).Donald MacDonald, also chairman of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), said improving the connectivity of national energy networks would reduce energy costs and allow for greater efficiencies in providing renewable energy.During the launch of a letter signed by more than 340 institutions, worth $24trn (€18.5trn), which called for governments to address the regulatory gaps holding back low-carbon investing, MacDonald said he accepted governments no longer had “infinite volumes of money” to finance the transition.As a result, private capital needs to be attracted to such projects, he said.last_img read more

No bail bond for rape suspect

first_imgPolice officersserved the warrant issued by Judge Walter Zorrila of the Regional Trial CourtBranch 51 dated Nov. 28, 2019. The 22-year-oldWilfred Sajona of Barangay Felisa was caught on the strength of an arrestwarrant around 10 a.m. on Jan. 14, a police report showed. BACOLOD City – The court recommended no bail bond for the temporaryliberty of a rape suspect arrested at the Bureau of Jail Management andPenology (BJMP) in Barangay Handumanan.center_img The suspect wasdetained in the BJMP’s custodial facility./PNlast_img

Elderly, youngsters can go out of houses but…

first_imgMayor Jerry Treñas announced this hours on Monday before issuing Executive Order No. 086-B, Series of 2020 reiterating the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on the movement of people under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). “We have to be considerate. Pila na sila ka bulan nabukot,” said the mayor. * to buy basic necessities * to stroll or exercise at the Iloilo Esplanade “Pangsaway lang kita,” said Treñas. According to Treñas, compliance officers won’t apprehend these segments of the population if their reasons for leaving their houses were among those he cited. These measures can curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019, according to the Department of Health./PN The city government has mobilized over 200 compliance officers to ensure that people minimum public health safety standards such as the wearing of facemask, observing physical distancing and frequent handwashing. One provision read: “The movement of all persons in areas placed under MGCQ shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate, and for other activities allowed under MGCQ. To this end, any persons below 21 years old, those who are 60 years old and above, those with comorbidity, immunodeficiency or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain in their residence at all times; provided that all activities and movements allowed under other sections of these guidelines for the foregoing persons shall continue to be permitted.” Treñas also said he had not ordered compliance officers to be strict and immediately apprehend people not observing physical distancing or not wearing facemask. * if they are going to work Mayor Jerry Treñas says the city government of Iloilo would be considerate to the elderly and youngsters during this modified general community quarantine and would not arrest them should they leave their houses for legitimate reasons such as buying basic necessities. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO City – Senior citizens (those 60 years old and older) and youngsters (those below 21 years old) here may go out of their houses but only for the following reasons:last_img read more

Mission accomplished: Dotson is Modified champion at Super Nationals

first_imgBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 7) – The goal Ethan Dotson set when he started coming to the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s was achieved Saturday night.  Drew Armstrong of Alexander, Ark., won the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions for Modifieds and Ocheyedan’s Elijah Zevenbergen won the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions for Stock Cars. Dotson led all 40 laps of the Modified main event at Boone Speedway, outrunning 2016 champion Ricky Thornton Jr. of Adel, Cody Laney of Torrance, Calif., and defending champion Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls in the race to what proved to be $5,800 checkers. “This (win) means everything to me,” he added. “This is the biggest dirt track race in the world.” From Bakersfield and the first Californian to win a Super Nationals crown in any division, Dotson weathered five cautions before midway, then a stoppage on the 22nd of 40 laps when intermittent rain brought about a quick track prep session.  Smith and Logue had both won first championships in 2014. “We’ve been coming to Super Nationals for about six years now,” said Dotson, fourth in main events for the Northern SportMods in 2014 and for the Modifieds last year. “The first time we wanted to get in the tech tent. Then we wanted to win the show.” More than 800 drivers in six divisions competed over the course of the Sept. 2-7 Super Nationals, including 229 Modifieds and an event record 203 Stock Cars.  Two-time champions were Devin Smith of Lake City in the Stock Cars and Johnathon Logue of Boone in the Northern SportMods. Two other events saw their first repeat winners, Corey Madden of Avoca in the Stephenville Starter Race of Champions for Hobby Stocks and Doug Smith of Lake City in the BSB Manufacturing SportMod Race of Champions.  Twenty-six states, Canada and Australia were represented by entries at the 37th annual Super Nationals, which saw a total purse of $300,000 and $60,000 in contingencies awarded. Saturday night champions at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s, pictured from left with IMCA President Brett Root, were Dylan Nelson, Hobby Stock; Devin Smith, Stock Car; Ethan Dotson, Modified; and Johnathon Logue, Northern SportMod. (Photo by Tom Macht, Thornton, looking for his second championship of the week after winning Monday’s Deery Brothers Summer Series Late Model main event, challenged but never made his bid for the lead stick. Also of note, Hesston Shaw became the first Oklahoma driver to make the Stock Car main event, and brothers Cody Stone and Cory Stone were the first from New Mexico to make the Hobby Stock show.  Thornton also qualified for the Stock Car headliner, becoming just the second driver to qualify for three main events at the same Super Nationals. Smith held Abe Huls of Carthage, Ill., at bay while Logue bested another former race winner, hometown foe Jake McBirnie, in the Northern SportMod show.  And Dylan Nelson of Adel earned his first Super Nationals title with a convincing run at the front of the Hobby Stock field. Second went to Dunlap’s Kevin Bruck.last_img read more

PSL’s Karachi matches to be played in an empty stadium: PCB

first_imgKarachi: The remaining Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches that are scheduled to be held at Karachi’s National Stadium will be played behind closed doors, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday.”Following advice from the Sindh Government late Thursday afternoon, the Pakistan Cricket Board has made a decision to stage the upcoming Karachi HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 matches in empty National Stadium,” said the PCB in a statement. “The decision will be enforced from Friday, 13 March, while for the Thursday, 12 March fixture the PCB and the Sindh Government has strongly advised the spectators to continue to take all necessary precautionary measures.”There are four more matches left in the group stage of the PSL, three of which will be played in Karachi and one in Lahore. Later, one qualifier will be played in Karachi while the two eliminators and final will all be held in Lahore. “With regard to the remaining fixtures in Lahore, we are already in contact with the Punjab Government and will take on board its advisory in relation to the Lahore matches,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan was quoted as saying in the board’s release. IANSAlso Read: Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will decide the Asia Cup venue: PCBAlso Watch: AASU staged two-hour sit-in demonstration against CAA 2019 in Charaideolast_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_img Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditTOKYO DATESTokyo Olympics rescheduledUNDATED (AP) — Tokyo Olympics organizers have rescheduled the Summer Games that were postponed last week by the coronavirus. An MSU police spokesman told ESPN on Monday that the attorney general’s office requested the case file and the department was cooperating.After a loss at Indiana on Jan. 23, coach Tom Izzo told reporters that Washington had been suspended. He did not elaborate.Washington did not play again this season. He played a total of 19 minutes this season before the suspension.MLB-RED SOX-SALESale has elbow surgery Smart posted a message on Twitter saying he was informed of the news Friday by the Massachusetts Department of Health. He thanked everyone for their support.Boston played the Utah Jazz on March 6. Five days later, Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, triggering rolling shutdowns of sports around the world.Smart had been in isolation since testing positive on March 19 and was being monitored by Celtics medical staff. His teammates, coaches and staff members were also tested, but those tests have come back negative.NFL-NEWSReid promotes probe, re-vote over post-ballot changes to CBA Organizers say the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021, almost one year to the day the games originally were due to begin. There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would have clashed with European soccer and North American sports leagues.The new Olympic dates conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back. All sports federations involved in the Olympics signed off on the new dates.The governing body of track and field says it supports the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics and is working with organizers in Eugene, Oregon, to move its world championships to 2022.In other Olympic news:— Tokyo Olympic Committee CEO Toshiro Muto is promising transparency in calculating the costs of reschedule the Olympic Games. Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses. Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much. All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget. March 30, 2020 British boxer has license suspended over video commentsCARDIFF, Wales (AP) — British boxer Billy Joe Saunders had his boxing license suspended Monday after publishing a social media video in which he appeared to condone domestic violence amid the coronavirus outbreak.The WBO super-middleweight champion filmed himself working out and offered men advice on how to hit their female partners during the lockdown.The British Boxing Board of Control says it investigated Saunders’ comments and decided to suspend his license under the regulations for misconduct.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 In other news involving the pandemic:— USA Rugby has decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because its financial woes have been exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdown. USA Rugby has been in financial strife since 2018. A recent attempt to restructure was set back this month when it had to suspend all activities indefinitely in the face of the pandemic.NBA-CELTICS-SMARTSmart says he’s been clearedBOSTON (AP) — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart says he has been cleared by medical officials after testing positive for the new coronavirus earlier this month. UNDATED (AP) — Free agent safety Eric Reid wants the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement invalidated over language added following ratification of the pact earlier this month.He is calling for an investigation and a re-vote.In a letter to the NFLPA on Monday, Reid’s lawyers said language posted on the players association’s website after passage of the agreement by a 1,019-959 vote on March 15 contains different language than the one players signed off on.The letter highlights a difference in wording in the section about the league’s disability plan that affects hundreds, and potentially thousands, of ex-players who applied for Social Security disability insurance payments before Jan. 1, 2015. In the version the players received and approved, those offsets applied only to players who applied after Jan. 1, 2015.The new CBA is set to begin with the upcoming 2020 season and extend through 2030.center_img Update on the latest in sports: Elsewhere in the NFL:— Free-agent punter Sam Martin has signed a three-year, $7 million package with the Broncos. Martin has averaged 46 yards per punt with a 40.9-yard net average, 38 touchbacks and 175 punts inside the 20-yard line during his seven NFL seasons.— Receiver Darius Jennings has signed a contract with the Chargers after spending the last two seasons with the Titans. Jennings led the league in kick return average in 2018 and had a 94-yard return for a touchdown against Miami. Jennings appeared in eight games for Tennessee last year before becoming a restricted free agent.— The Steelers have signed three XFL players, givng one-year deals to defensive end Dewayne Hendrix, safety Tyree Kinnel and linebacker/long snapper Christian Kuntz. All three played in the startup league that suspended operations earlier this month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NBA Perry opts for draftUNDATED (AP) — Two more high-profile college basketball players are leaving campus early, while a third is giving it strong consideration.Mississippi State forward Reggie Perry has entered the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound sophomore was selected as The Associated Press co-Southeastern Conference player of the year after ranking in the top 10 of several conference categories. Perry led the SEC in rebounds last season with 10.1 per game, ranked sixth in scoring at 17.4 points and ninth in blocks with 1.2.Arizona State junior point guard Remy Martin has declared for the draft, saying he’s decided to take another step into making his dream a reality. Martin led the Sun Devils with 19.1 points. 4.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 2019-20, putting them on the cusp of a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance before the college basketball postseason was halted by the coronavirus. He was named first team all-Pac-12 by The Associated Press.Michigan forward Isaiah Livers is applying for early entry into the NBA draft. However, the school says Livers is not hiring an agent and will work with the Michigan coaching staff during the evaluation and pre-draft processes. Even if a player does use an agent during the evaluation process, he can return to school without losing eligibility if he ends the relationship with the agent. Livers has started 46 games in three seasons at Michigan. He led the Wolverines in scoring this season at 12.9 points per game, although he was limited to 21 games because of injury problems.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-MICHIGAN STATE-SEXUAL ASSAULTWoman wants Michigan AG to investigate sexual assault accusation against MSU playerEAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A woman who said she was sexually assaulted by a Michigan State basketball player is asking the Michigan attorney general’s office to investigate, according to a published report.Citing a police report and emails obtained through a public records request, ESPN is reporting that Michigan State University police told prosecutors they had probable cause that sophomore guard Brock Washington raped the woman on Jan. 19 while she was too intoxicated to consent. Police referred the case to county prosecutors, who declined to file charges this month. NCAA-SPRING ELIGIBILITYNCAA adds another year of eligibility for spring athletesUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA will permit spring sport athletes who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus outbreak to have an additional year of eligibility.The NCAA Division I Council has voted to give college athletes who compete in spring sports such as baseball, softball and lacrosse a way to get back the season they lost. However, the council did not guarantee financial aid. Winter sports were not included in the decision.The amount of scholarship money available to each athlete will be determined by the athlete’s school. Roster limits will be adjusted to fit returning athletes along with incoming freshman. VIRUS OUTBREAK-NATIONAL TENNIS CENTERNational Tennis Center aiding coronavirus battleNEW YORK (AP) — The site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York is going to be used for 350 temporary hospital beds and to prepare food packages during the coronavirus pandemic.U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier says an area that houses indoor courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows will begin to be converted into a medical facility starting Tuesday.New York state and city officials are trying to increase hospital capacity by up to 87,000 beds to handle the outbreak. BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox say starting pitcher Chris Sale has undergone successful Tommy John surgery.Sale is expected to miss 14-15 months, which would bring him back in the middle of the 2021 season.The Red Sox said during training camp that he had a flexor strain near the elbow, but the team hoped he would avoid ligament replacement surgery.The seven-time All-Star is 109-73 in 10 major league seasons and entering the second season of a six-year, $160 million contract. He comes off his worst season as a full-time starter, going 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts.BOXING-SAUNDERS-LICENSE SUSPENDEDlast_img read more

Training nurses in the ABC of customer care

first_imgTHE administration of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) sees the delivery of efficient and effective customer care by nurses and doctors at the institution as being key to improving and sustaining the image of the organis (CEO)+ation.Towards this end, the hospital’s Nursing Services, with the full support of the ChiefBrigadier Lewis presents a certificate to one of the trained nurses.Executive Officer, Brigadier George Lewis, has already embarked on investing in training of an initial batch of 18 nursing professionals in Customer Care, and is putting systems in place to train a second batch.The participants, drawn from diverse departments within the institution, were on Thursday presented with certificates at a ceremony held in the GPH’s Multipurpose Room, after successfully completing the training.The training was facilitated by Pastor Audrey Hinds whose brainchild the initiative was. Hinds presented the Director (Ag), Nursing Services, Ms. Celeste Gordon with a copy of the course outline and a menu of measures to be implemented at the institution in order to realize improved customer care.As part of the training, the nurses were taken on tours around the hospital, where they made observations and put up and recommendations for improvement in three key departments within the GPH, namely – the Accident and Emergency Department’s Triage Unit; the Accident and Emergency Open and the Medical OutpatientsDepartment.Petal Albert, one of the youngest nurses trained in Customer Care proudly displays her certificate.Hinds said she proposed the training for the nurses, since too often, persons have been critical of their performance claiming they need to be trained to deal with patients and the public, but without pointing out culpable ones. This faulty generalisation, is unfair to the hard working and dedicated nurses, hence the training. The Report put up by Facilitator Hinds, assessed critically the Triage Unit of the A&E Unit and made recommendations for improvements.Improving the imageMeanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer congratulated the initiative, saying he considered the training to be very important and much needed for improving the image of the Georgetown Public Hospital. He recalled having discussions with persons and got the sense that the wider society feels that the GPH does not provide quality health care for persons.However, since assuming offices at the GPH, he said he has found that there are lots of capable and dedicated professionals within the system, who were performing their duties to the best of their ability.He admonished the participants to ensure they provide quality service and perform their duties professionally, ensuring that their demeanour, turn- out, bearing, speech and appearance make a positive impact on those seeking service.Avoid altercationsThe CEO warned against getting into verbal altercations, let alone physical ones, with any patient. “So even if their attitude towards you is bad or wrong, you are supposed to be able to lift your selves above that level and handle that situation in a professional manner. If you can’t handle it, then seek the support of your supervisor. But you are NOT supposed to, under any circumstances, get involved in any type of altercation.Investment in the futureThe CEO said that exposing the nurses to the training is an investment in their future. “We are doing it because we are working towards the goal of improving the image of the Georgetown Public Hospital,” he declared.He said they, in turn would be expected to: (1) Share what they learnt with their peers back in their respective departments; (2) ensure that they utilise the knowledge acquired on the training, in such a way that they would cause improvement in the image of the Georgetown Public Hospital.Meanwhile, Asst. Director (Ag) of Nursing Services, Ms. Celeste Gordon who delivered the Charge to the participants, admonished them that customer Care must meet the needs and desires of those seeking it, for it to be effective.She urged them to embrace the ABC of Customer Care which speaks to Attitude, Behaviour and Communication.Others supporting the initiative were: Chairperson, Mr. Owen John, Nursing Education Coordinator; and Asst. Director (Ag) Nursing Services, Mr. Keith Alonza.last_img read more

Hamilton Green Cup KO Football Tournament: Winners Connection, Milerock book quarter-final spots

first_imgUPPER Demerara Football Association’s (UDFA) Winners Connections and Milerock both registered comprehensive victories on Sunday to book their places in the quarter-final round of the Hamilton Green Cup Knock-Out football tournament.Playing under lights at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground (MSC) on Sunday evening, Winners Connections brushed aside Kuru Kururu 4-0, while in the feature event, Milerock made light work of Soesdyke, winning by a 3-0 margin.Witnessed by a sparse crowd, Keon Sears recorded a brace for Winners Connections in the4 24th and 31st minutes, while Marlon Davidson (5th) and Quintin Andries (15th) were the other goalscorers for Winners Connection.In the feature game, Denzil Fordyce found the back of the opposition’s net in the 15th and 72nd minutes.The other goal was scored by Royston Fraser in the 84th minute.Winners Connection will now await the outcome of the game between Mahaica and Golden Grove. This match is scheduled for Sunday at the Victoria ground, East Coast Demerara and the result will determine the team to oppose Winners in the quarter-final fixture.Milerock will also have to wait until Sunday to know whom they will face in their quarter-final match-up as they will come up against the winner of the Ann’s Grove versus Buxton/Bakewell match on Sunday.Meanwhile, the competition will continue on Friday at the MSC ground with a double-header that will see Silver Shattas take on Riddim Squad from 19:00hrs and Eagles United face Soesdyke from 21:00hrs.last_img read more

In a crunch: Syracuse minor-league franchise sees stronger connection with Tampa Bay Lightning during lockout

first_imgBrett Connolly knows something about the big leagues. The 20-year-old played 68 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL last year, notching four goals and 15 points.He’s back in the minors this year, though. But not because of his play in Tampa.Connolly has joined the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch this season, waiting out the NHL lockout that began Sept. 15. With owners and players locked in a dispute over issues like revenue sharing and player contracts, NHL games have been canceled through Dec. 14, but the threat of losing the entire season still looms.With the AHL experiencing no such dispute, NHL teams can send eligible players to the minors to stay game-ready. After playing just one full NHL season, Connolly fit the criteria and has scored 17 points in 19 games with Syracuse thus far.“Who knows, there may not even be an NHL season,” Connolly said. “I’m running with this. It would be cool to make a run at the Calder Cup.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor the Crunch as an organization, it’s business as usual. The team is financially independent from the Lightning but shares a contract with an NHL partner for players. Last season’s Syracuse roster was part of the Anaheim organization, but the Crunch lineup is now in the Lightning system after a Tampa Bay-Anaheim minor-league swap. Tampa’s AHL squad in Norfolk won the Calder Cup championship last year, winning 28 consecutive games in the process.Maggie Walters, Crunch director of marketing and communications, said a recent game against Binghamton – Ottawa’s affiliate – may have attracted more fans from Ottawa than usual because they were interested in keeping tabs on the team’s prospects. Otherwise, Walters estimates the team has maintained its level of ticket sales from last year, with no significant lockout-related boost.In the realm of scouting and player development, though, the Crunch has noticed a difference since the lockout began, Walters said. Tampa Bay goaltending coach Frantz Jean was seen on the ice during last week’s practice at the Onondaga War Memorial, and Jean has frequently visited with Lightning player development coordinator Steve Thomas this year, Walters said.“It would happen anyways,” Walters said. “But it’s probably more frequent with the lockout.”Walters also pointed out a chain reaction caused by the lockout that leads to the East Coast Hockey League, a level below the AHL. With more NHL-ready players in the AHL, some AHL-level players have moved down to the ECHL.Crunch head coach Jon Cooper, last year’s AHL outstanding coach award winner, said he sees a raised standard of play in the league this year. He estimates that 100 or more players in the league would be in the NHL right now, if not for the lockout.Despite the sense of moving down a level, Cooper believes the situation can help certain young players.“It gives guys the chance to play way more minutes, important minutes,” Cooper said. “It gives us the chance to put them in all types of situations. There’s no substitute for playing.”It’s something Connolly recognizes as he speaks with his Tampa teammates.Some are playing in Europe with many other NHL players. Others aren’t playing at all. Lightning star Steven Stamkos is one of those who is not playing, instead enjoying the time off and working out to stay in peak condition, Connolly said.Connolly sees the value in rest, but he wants to take his opportunity in Syracuse to develop his game as much as possible.“I played with guys last year who don’t have a place to play,” Connolly said. “It’s a benefit for me – everyone wants to be playing, and I’ve learned so much. The coaches are hard on me, they expect a lot, and you need that as a player.”And it’s not as if his Tampa coaches aren’t watching. Lightning head coach Guy Boucher has made the trip to six Crunch games this season, something he would never be able to do during a regular NHL season, Cooper said.So far this season, Syracuse has carried its momentum from last year’s Calder Cup run in Norfolk, starting the season 13-5-1-1 and tied for first place in the AHL’s Eastern Conference.“It’s a great group of guys,” Connolly said. “I’ve never been on a team that’s so confident. We want to get better, we will get better and losing is not acceptable.”Although the AHL provides high-level hockey for a price much less expensive than the NHL, some local fans are getting restless at the lack of NHL play. Senior television, radio and film major Jake Cohen is an avid NHL fan who grew up in St. Louis rooting for the Blues.When Cohen came to Syracuse, he got his NHL fix by traveling to Buffalo for Sabres games. He estimates that he has gone once a month in the last three years.But since players can’t move up to the NHL due to the lockout, Cohen finds himself unwilling to spend money on the Crunch despite the AHL’s status as the highest-level North American league currently in season.“I don’t really care about AHL teams,” Cohen said. “I care more about individual player growth and following their journey to the NHL. Since there’s no season, it’s pointless.”As the lockout drags on, players and coaches are beginning to wonder if the conflict can be resolved in time to save the season. Cooper said he listens to NHL Network Radio every morning when he’s not on the road, and Connolly said he uses social media to read up on the latest developments.Until a resolution is reached, Connolly will be a member of the Crunch, which looks primed to contend for the Calder Cup.For Connolly, the chance to chase a title – no matter where he takes the ice – makes the experience worth it.“I have a grasp on everything, and I’ve been keeping tabs,” Connolly said. “But right now, the Syracuse Crunch is my main thought.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 5, 2012 at 2:54 am Contact Kevin: kmprisei@syr.edulast_img read more