AEK sink Olympiakos behind closed doors to win Greek Cup

first_imgAEK Athens beat holders and Super League champions Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 in the Greek Cup final thanks to goals by captain Petros Mantalos and Rafik Djebbour at an empty ground on Tuesday.Greece midfielder Mantalos headed home a Ronald Vargas cross seven minutes before the break inside an eerily silent Olympic Stadium without any fans due to crowd violence that has blighted this season’s competition.Djebbour added a second against his former club five minutes after halftime from a Vargas through ball in a match that took place at the third time of asking following two postponements.Alejandro Domiquez gave Olympiakos hope with a superb goal five minutes from time but AEK held on to claim a 15th Greek Cup win, denying Olympiakos an 18th double in the process.It was AEK’s first trophy since a 2011 Cup triumph and marked an impressive return to success for Stelios Manolas’ men after bankruptcy and relegation to Greece’s third tier in 2013.“For me this trophy is the prize for the difficult times the club has gone through this past few years — this club is back and has deservedly won the cup,” said Mantalos.SHAMEFUL SITUATIONMarco Silva’s Olympiakos, who had not been in competitive action since beating AEL Kalloni 5-0 in their final league match on April 17, dominated possession in a rather pedestrian affair.However, the Piraeus club looked understandably out of sorts and short of match practice due to the delays as opposed to AEK, who are still in competitive action in the playoffs.“The fact that we waited for a month to play this game is proof that Greek football needs much improvement. What happened is shameful, it’s not right and is very bad for the game here,” said a fuming Silva.“The season hasn’t ended in the best way for us. We were not at all on the ball today and couldn’t find any rhythm, but what has happened in the last few months in this competition has not happened anywhere else.”The game was originally scheduled for April 24 but was moved to May 7 after a high-profile postponement by the government. The match was then once again controversially postponed at the request of the police due to a nationwide 48-hour strike.Greece’s Deputy Minister for Sport, Stavros Kontonis, had cancelled the competition outright after the first leg of the semi-final between PAOK Salonika and Olympiakos on March 2 was abandoned due to a pitch invasion.However, Kontonis reversed his decision last month after soccer’s world ruling body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA warned that the country would be suspended from international football if the Greek Cup did not resume.The competition restarted with the remaining games played behind closed doors for security reasons.last_img read more

Rick Pitino, Adidas reach settlement; terms not disclosed

first_imgSEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption View comments Beast Mode is back: Lynch signs with Seattle Seahawks A federal judge dismissed Pitino’s lawsuit against Adidas last year, agreeing with the sportswear maker that his claim required arbitration and should be heard out of court.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next File-This Jan. 4, 2019, file photo shows Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino looking on during a Euroleague basketball match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos in Piraeus near Athens. Former Louisville basketball coach Pitino has reached a settlement with Adidas, the Hall of Fame coach and the global sportswear company said in a joint statement Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has reached a settlement with Adidas, the Hall of Fame coach and the global sportswear company said in a joint statement Monday.Pitino had contended in a lawsuit that Adidas “outrageously conspired” to funnel money to the family of a Louisville recruit without his knowledge and made it appear he was aware of its practices.ADVERTISEMENT ‘People evacuated on their own’ NFA assures ample rice supply in ashfall, eruption-affected areas Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday Settlement terms were not released but the statement said all issues were resolved.“Over 16 years working with Adidas, Coach Pitino demonstrated his passion for basketball and his commitment to excellence both on and off the court,” the statement read. “We wish Coach Pitino the best in his new role as head coach of Panathinaikos, the Greek national team and any future endeavors.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Pitino said he had “nothing to add” when reached by text message by the Courier Journal. Adidas replied with an automated response saying its press office was closed for the holidays.Pitino sued Adidas in October 2017 in U.S. District Court for breach of contract, alleging that the Oregon company deliberately ruined his reputation. Adidas had terminated its personal services contract with Pitino hours after Louisville’s Athletic Association fired him for cause following the school’s acknowledgement of its involvement in a federal bribery investigation of college basketball. Pitino was not named in the federal complaint. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, other stars react to Oscar nominations MOST READ Thailand reports case of coronavirus from China When Pops met Martin’s son Santino Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers fleelast_img read more

GoFundMe campaign set up after fatal logging truck accident near Prespatou

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the family of a man from the Fort St. John area after a fatal collision involving a logging truck late last week.According to the GoFundMe page, the campaign was set up to help the family of Tony Giesbrecht, who passed away in an accident on February 16th. Barb McLintock with the B.C. Coroners Service confirmed that at about 6:30 a.m. on February 16th, Giesbrecht was driving a loaded logging truck southbound on Prespatou Road, approximately 90 kilometres north of Fort St. John. McLintock said that road and weather conditions were poor at the time. Giesbrecht’s truck failed to negotiate a sharp curve and rolled. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.The campaign page says that Geisbrecht left behind a wife and five children, and has raised just over $3,000 of the $10,000 goal as of 1:45 p.m. Monday. A link to the GoFundMe campaign can be found here: Advertisement –last_img read more

Ex-chief is jailed

first_imgCALIMESA – A former police chief was in custody Friday on suspicion of murder after his wife was found floating face-down in their backyard hot tub, authorities said. Blair Christopher Hall, 49, was arrested Thursday evening, about 12 hours after he called 911 to report that his wife was unconscious and needed medical help. Riverside County sheriff’s deputies pulled Cristi Lynne Hall, 46, from the water. She was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital. The cause of death was under investigation, but detectives had evidence that she did not drown accidentally, said sheriff’s Investigator Jerry Franchville. Hall was being held in lieu of $1 million bail and was scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately known whether he has retained an attorney. Hall was a police officer and detective in nearby San Bernardino in the 1980s. He retired in 1994 after being shot in the leg by a would-be carjacker. He moved to Idaho and became police chief in the city of Cascade. He held that post from 1995 to 1998 and was later convicted of embezzling about $20,000. He was sentenced to a year in county jail after pleading guilty to misuse of public funds. Hall also briefly served as police chief in Emmett, Idaho. After moving back to California, he worked as a security officer at a casino and most recently ran a private-investigation agency in Calimesa.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

Goss an all-around threat

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “When you get a good solid rebound and push the ball up the court to spark the offense, that’s what gives me a lot of energy,” she said. “Scoring is fun too, I just like to rebound because it helps the team more.” Newbury Park (12-6, 6-0), ranked No. 3 by the Daily News, has profited from her efforts. At 5-foot-9, she leads the team with 18.3 points and seven rebounds per game. “She can outrebound players who are 6-1 or even taller than that sometimes,” said longtime Newbury Park coach Nori Parvin. “Her vertical leap must be at least 26 or 27 (inches). People usually don’t expect guards to rebound, but she does.” As the team’s only senior, Goss has provided leadership that has been crucial to the team’s success. Junior guard Chelsea Davis said Goss’ ability to settle down her teammates was crucial in a 55-48 come-from-behind league victory over then No. 6 Westlake on Jan. 11, when the Panthers rallied from a 16-point deficit midway through the third quarter. NEWBURY PARK – There is no shame in hitting game-winning 3-pointers and breaking school scoring records. But Newbury Park High senior guard Kavita Goss takes more pride in doing the dirty work that has the Panthers on course to run away with the intensely competitive Marmonte League than the glamour that comes with being one of the area’s leading scorers. “She never loses faith in us,” Davis said. “She’s `super-nice, but when it comes down to the game she knows what we need to do. Sometimes if we’re a little bit off she makes sure we stay focused. She knows how to pick us up.” Goss’ success in the classroom has apparently rubbed off on her game, too. Goss maintains a GPA above 3.8. She’s taken multiple advanced placement courses. “What I’ve done on the court kind of carries over to what I do off the court,” Goss said. “The principles are the same. If you work hard you’ll succeed in whatever you do. If you study hard for a test and you’re going to get an ‘A’. If you practice hard countless hours in the gym, you’re going to excel in your game.” Gideon Rubin, (818)713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Goss, who is headed to Loyola Marymount, has had a taste of the limelight. She was featured on Fox Sports Net as one of the Southland’s premier student athletes after a 41-point performance Jan. 6 against Moorpark, which broke the school single-game scoring record previously held by USC’s Brynn Cameron. But to hear Goss tell it, nothing gets her adrenaline flowing like crashing the boards. last_img

‘Suck on that’ – Piers Morgan mocks Tottenham fans on talkSPORT

first_img GETTY 3 Arsenal players celebrate during their excellent north London derby win over Tottenham. Piers Morgan has mocked Tottenham supporters, saying north London has ‘ALWAYS been red’, following Arsenal’s dazzling derby victory on Sunday.The Gunners got one over their fierce rivals at the Emirates Stadium, coming from behind to win 4-2 with an impressive attacking display.It was a thrilling game which saw Arsenal reinstate their hold on north London. They may have finished below Spurs in the table for the past two Premier League seasons, but have now leapfrogged the Lilywhites into fourth place. The Gunners disciple was also full of praise for manager Unai Emery, and said his side’s performance against Spurs created the best atmosphere he has EVER experienced at the Emirates Stadium.He added: “The thing I loved most about yesterday was that we scrapped from the moment the game started to the moment it finished.“We were like a unit again, going to football war. It was fantastic to watch.“The energy, the commitment and the passion these players are giving Unai Emery is brilliant to watch.“I’ve not heard the Emirates like that since it was opened. So in 12 years we’ve not had an atmosphere like we had yesterday, it was absolutely rocking.”Listen back to Piers Morgan on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above And Morgan has hit back at the suggestions Spurs had eclipsed his beloved Gunners is recent years, saying this current Tottenham side lack the ‘hunger’ to compete at the top level.Speaking on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Morgan said: “North London is, like it’s always been, red. So suck on that!“It’s never been white, I don’t know why anyone has even raised the subject of Tottenham ever, ever eclipsing us.“We’ve had all the chat for years about how they’re eclipsing Arsenal, but on yesterday’s performance I don’t see it.“I see a bunch of very well-paid guys running around who did not have the commitment and hunger than this Arsenal team now has.” 3 The Emirates was ‘rocking’ when Arsenal scored their fourth goal, says Piers Morgan Things got a bit feisty between the Arsenal and Tottenham players at the Emirates The arch-rivals will do battle again in two weeks’ time in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, and Morgan said it’s the only chance Spurs will get of winning a trophy this season.“Look at where their season is going, they’re fifth now,” he said.“For Tottenham, the EFL Cup is about the only thing they can possibly win, so I would image they would put their first team out, most of whom went missing yesterday.“I think the EFL Cup game is actually quite significant, because for Arsenal winning has actually become a mentality.” 3last_img read more

Henrik Larsson focused on Helsingborgs job amid links to Celtic role

first_imgHenrik Larsson says he’s only focused on his job with Helsingborgs after being linked as a potential successor to Ronny Deila as Celtic boss.The Scottish champions announced Deila will leave his post at the end of the Scottish Premiership season, after two years in charge of the champions.In 2014 while manager of Falkenbergs, Celtic legend Larsson revealed he had turned down the chance to replace Neil Lennon as boss following talks with the Parkhead hierarchy.The former Sweden international is once again high on the list of replacements for the role and speaking to STV following Deila’s announcement, Larsson said: “I’m the manager of Helsingborgs… that’s what my focus is on.” When asked if he would be open to talks with chief executive Peter Lawwell and majority shareholder Dermot Desmond, he replied: “There’s no point to me speculating on anything like that – I’m focusing on the Helsinborgs job. My contract here is until the winter of 2017.”Celtic hold an eight-point lead over Aberdeen in the Premiership title race with five matches remaining.Deila is aiming to bow out with his second consecutive league title as Celtic aim to complete five-in-a-row.Helsingborgs are currently 13th in the 16-team Allsvenskan, having won one of their opening four matches.last_img read more

Cork’s Keith Cronin wins Ulster Rally

first_imgWest Cork rally ace Keith Cronin and his Kerry co-driver Mikie Galvin  dominated the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally at the weekend, leading after all but one of the fourteen stages in the Sperrin Mountains to beat Swede Fredrik Ahlin by 55 seconds despite easing off on the final stage.Cronin, already three times the British Rally Champion, still has an outside chance of overhauling Ahlin for a fourth UK title in the final two rounds on the Isle of Man next month, but the Swede holds a clear lead, with the Ballylickey driver losing out badly in the early part of the season with a succession of problems.A trio of Northern Ireland drivers took the next three positions, headed by Jonny Greer in third place, but sixth for Monaghan’s Sam Moffett virtually clinches the Clonakilty Blackpudding Tarmac series for him, to add to the Triton Showers National title that he has already won this year.Moffett’s main rival for the Tarmac Championship, Alastair Fisher, was one of the first retirements with an overheated engine on the second stage, leaving the Monaghanman in the uncomfortable position of driving cautiously for the rest of the weekend to ensure that he safely reached the finish in Derry city.Twice Irish Hillclimb champion Joe Courtney scored another weekend double at Mondello, winning both days of the MEC Sprints, to increase his lead in the Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb and Sprint Championship. Former champions Sylvie Mullins and Michael Roche were the two runners-up.last_img read more

Dani’s Best Week Ever May 12, 2016: In Defense of Disney’s Hollywood Studios

first_imgAfter the show I strolled around Echo Lake again, contemplating what else I wanted to enjoy in the park. Time was running out, I had pet sitting duties to return to. I couldn’t resist venturing into One Man’s Dream. It is a must-visit walk through experience for any Disney fan, especially those with an appreciation for Walt Disney. This was the first visit to this attraction in a long time in which I did not take any pictures. I simply absorbed the history, nostalgia, and pixie dust. This is a meaningful exhibition and I hope it stays well into the future, or if not, it will be replaced on a grander scale.I had now been in the park for six hours and experienced four shows, two rides, two walk through attractions, a character meet and greet, and had relaxed and dined, I was feeling pretty satisfied. If I did not have pets to get back home to I easily could have stayed and enjoyed more shows (ok yeah, you do need to be a fan of live entertainment to really enjoy Hollywood Studios – especially in its present state).Having enjoyed myself so much, I wanted to savor it one last time before heading out. I knew exactly where to head to: Brown Derby Lounge. The final Galaxy Far, Far Away show for the day was about start, if I was lucky I’d get a table with a partial view. I love the Brown Derby Lounge because it is first come, first served. I’ve been visiting the Lounge since it opened nearly three years ago. It has been enhanced over the years as well as experienced a few menu changes, with a renewed focus on delicious small plates and specialty cocktails. The Summer heat and humidity are starting to make their presence known, so if you will be visiting Orlando soon make sure you mentally prepare for hot, steamy weather. Thankfully during my visit the weather was still bearable so I enjoyed my Electric Lemonade outside. A pleasant stroll near Echo Lake was in order. Then I felt it again, the call of the Force. The new Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple show has one of the most frequent show times I’ve ever seen at Walt Disney World.It does have a bit of an assembly line feel to it, but it allows so many younglings to become padawans, it’s hard to fault it. During the early days of the Jedi Training Academy there were many, many disappointed guests who wanted their children to be able to get on stage and be part of the show. Now, with such an increased capacity for participants there are hopefully less disappointed Jedi moms and dads. One addition made me giggle: a merchandise cart at the back of the crowd selling lightsabers. It’s funny to me to see the kids on stage wielding lightsabers only to have to give them back. This cart has one heck of a location!As I looked around, Disney’s Hollywood Studios exhibited a behavior I had previously encountered only in one other theme park destination: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Every fifth or sixth guest had some sort of Star Wars apparel, it seemed–and a similar ratio carried some sort of Star Wars merchandise in their hands. A line of about 30 people waited to build their own lightsaber inside Tatooine Traders. In fact, the store was packed! I had a hard time resisting temptation and not making like a Jawa, snatching up all kinds of galactic treasures.Inside Tatooine TradersMy friend arrived in the park and it was time to board a Starspeeder! Nervous and excited don’t seem to be strong enough words… I was borderline hyperactive. Each Star Tours cast member that saw my button smiled, though I am sure a few chuckled at my childlike behavior. It took about four minutes from the time we entered the FP+ touch point to the time we were assigned our row and ready to board.Before I knew it we were jumping into lightspeed and I lost it immediately! The pressure, the motion, the sound overwhelmed and I laughed a very uncomfortable laugh, immediately averting my eyes away from the screen. I instead focused on the vehicle itself. This helped until my friend, in hopes of helping me enjoy the ride, told me to look at the screen. There it was… Jakku! And Finn up on the screen?! I did my best to watch this scene, but I continued to alternate between looking at the screen and looking at the vehicle. It was intense and a feeling I will have to learn to manage it in order to ride again, because I definitely want to ride again.About to blast off, eeeeek!For those playing the at home game, I’ve only been in the park for an hour and a half, I’ve seen two Star Wars stage shows and rode Star Tours, plus enjoyed a beverage. My appetite to consume as much Star Wars stuff as possible was not yet quenched. With showings about every 10 minutes, Star Wars: Path of the Jedi is a quick and easy diversion. Non Star Wars fans will probably be confused by the short collection of important and thematic moments across all seven Star Wars films. I personally enjoyed the journey and found it a nice punctuation mark to cap off my achievement of finally going on Star Tours.Our FastPass+ window opened up for The Great Movie Ride. Normally I wouldn’t suggest using one of your initial FastPass+ picks for this ride, but seeing as I currently have no interest in Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Midway Mania was already booked up, it’s a decent choice. When we approached the theater the standby wait time was posted at 30 minutes; we boarded our ride vehicle at just about six minutes.This attraction is one of the main reasons this park was built. In an age in which we are seemingly bombarded with attractions that rely on projection screens and 3D effects, Great Movie Ride stands as a monument to the days of practical, physically effects and sets. It almost doesn’t feel like a proper trip to Hollywood Studios without going on The Great Movie Ride.We exited the attraction just after 2:00 PM, time to see Captain Phasma and the Stormtroopers march from the Launch Bay onto the main stage. This quick occurrence isn’t something I’d recommend setting in your schedule, but since it happens on the hour every hour, it is easy to catch if you’re anywhere in the Launch Bay or icon area. It makes for good photo opportunities, though I only managed to snag a short video for tweeting.The call of the Launch Bay could not be ignored. We opted to enter through the merchandise shop. Doing so saved us time by not waiting for the brief movie presentation, as well as by not becoming part of a group that enters the area at the same time. The biggest time saver of all is the special Disney Visa Cardholder meet and greet of Kylo Ren. We waited less than two minutes and suddenly we were face to face with the Master of the Knights of Ren himself. I enjoyed the interaction, he really is imposing, and don’t get me started on the voice (swoon!)I may look awkward by not posing, but what I’m really doing is resisting the Dark SideIt was bittersweet being inside The Launch Bay when it was once the Magic of Animation attraction, a place full of Disney magic and memories. But alas, the only constant thing in life is change. I am thankful I am a Star Wars fan, otherwise I’d resent the Launch Bay. Instead I found it to be a cool area to explore, especially the cantina-like room now that walk-around Jawas playfully trade treasures with guests.The amount of props, models, and memorabilia is pretty impressive. I would’ve liked to meet Chewbacca, but his posted wait time was 30 minutes. I’d probably pop back into Launch Bay to browse around again and try to meet Chewie, but there isn’t much to pull repeat visits. However, as progress is made on Star Wars Land we should begin to see some cool concept art and such on display here. Just as I slipped my button on the new Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show began. As though the Force called to me I was immediately drawn to the stage and made my way up Hollywood Blvd to get a decent view. It didn’t take long for me to get goosebumps. This stage show is not overly impressive, it is merely a collection of montages shown on three large video screens with appearances of live Star Wars characters and a few pyrotechnics. Those that aren’t Star Wars fans will be nonplussed by this show. However, there was plenty of positive reactions from fellow fans all around me and that made the show even more impactful. It is also neat having the Mann’s Chinese Theater as the backdrop because Star Wars originally premiered at the actual theater in 1977. Feeling inspired and nearly ready for my first adventure in space travel thanks to the Galaxy Far, Far Away show, I anxiously awaited the arrival of my fellow space traveler as well as the arrival of our FastPass+ window. Perhaps a visit to Tune-In Lounge, would be a good way to spend some time. A Star Wars universe cantina isn’t ready yet, but the boisterous Tune-In Lounge is often noisy, bustling, and full of all manner of life forms so it works in the meantime.At 1:00 PM not a single bar stool was available at the lounge, not surprising. I ordered a Dad’s Electric Lemonade to go. This drink is listed as one of the cocktails that comes with a glow cube, an unnecessary decoration in my opinion. So I ordered it without the cube, which reduced the price by about $2.00 making it $9.32 with tax (before tip). So let’s see, I’ve been in the park three hours and have done three shows, two rides, a character meet and greet, and a walk through attraction. Not too shabby. The time had come for my friend to zip off to see Aerosmith aboard the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I may have conquered Star Tours, but I’ve got a long ways to go before you’ll see me strapped into that coaster. While I waited I browsed the goods available for purchase in the courtyard.I noticed the temporary tattoo kiosk offers a selection of Guardians of the Galaxy tats, right under the shadow of the Tower of Terror. I don’t think this has anything to do with the rumors going around that this Marvel movie will take over the Twilight Zone theme, but found it amusing nonetheless.My friend had a FP+ for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and reported that she was seated in the “super stretch limo” ride vehicle about six minutes after her ticket was scanned. After her ride through Hollywood, it was time for some nourishment. She craved a carrot cake cookie, one of the most cravable snacks there is, while I wanted to check out the new snacks and beer and wine selections at The Writer’s Stop.This is one of my favorite places inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Surrounded by books and tucked into a corner of the park, The Writer’s Stop is a gem. One thing that was missing on this visit was any music inside the shop / cafe. There is a small couch and chair facing a small TV that usually plays clips from various movies and TV shows from the Walt Disney Company. On our visit however, the same two minute advertisements for two TV shows kept playing. The atmosphere was definitely off.However, the snacks and drinks did not disappoint. The carrot cake cookie is as good as ever, my friend was kind enough to share. It is such a rich and decadent treat, and at $3.99 is a decent price. We also indulged in two new savory options: a large soft pretzel served with warm cheese dip ($5.69) and a charcuterie board ($7.49).The charcuterie board won out over the pretzel. The pretzel isn’t a poor choice either, it was soft and tender, and the cheese dip was a nice enhancement, but for two dollars more I’d rather have the meat and cheese board. It is great to have some quick snack choices geared towards adults in a relaxed atmosphere.It became time for friend to head back to reality. We bid ado as I headed to visit royalty from Arendelle. I’ll admit it, it felt weird attending the For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration alone. The newly re-named Hyperion Theater and I have a small history. I was a trainer for the opening team of the American Idol Experience. I may not have been a huge fan of the concept, but the theater received some major high tech upgrades when Idol moved in, so it is great to see the theater put to good use.FastPass+ entranceOverall, I enjoyed the show for what it is, and really appreciated the Arendelle “historians.” Many longtime Disney entertainers fill these roles, including some performers from the glory days of Pleasure Island. I wouldn’t return to the show on my own though. With my nieces, given the chance, I’d be there with bells on! It is a great show for families, no doubt. Share This!It’s the park that everyone loves to hate on right now. Piece by piece we’ve seen change after change come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Earffel Tower? Gone. Backlot Studio Tour? Long gone. Lights, Motor, Action Stunt Show? Outta here! In fact, the whole Streets of America area is a thing of the past. All these closures, without timely replacements, have made Disney’s Hollywood Studios an easy target for criticism. Admittedly, it has been my least favorite Walt Disney World theme park for quite some time.There is no question that Hollywood Studios is in a transition period. It is reminiscent of puberty. Or perhaps more poetically, like a caterpillar in a cocoon waiting to emerge as a butterfly. Nope, I’m sticking with puberty because Hollywood Studios is not wrapped up and in hiding waiting to emerge. It is still here, in its awkward phase, just trying to make it through and show the world that they were wrong to pick on it.I recently visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the purpose of enjoying as much of the park as possible, and to take a big step in my journey to overcome my fear of any and all thrill rides. I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed my time in the park. Granted, I am a big time Star Wars fan and there’s lots and lots of Star Wars stuff now added to the park. Still, there’s enough to enjoy even though the park’s best days seem to be on the horizon.Arriving at 12:00 PM I knew the park would be in full swing, but the action would have to wait a moment. Driving into the parks means the added process of parking your car and either boarding the parking tram or walking to the park entrance. With the added safety measures of the doors and the recorded departure spiel, it can take ten minutes or so just for the tram to depart once you’ve boarded it. This was the case on my visit, and I regretted not walking to the entrance.The glitz and glamour of the Mann’s Chinese Theater standing proud as the park’s main entrance “weenie” is still a sight I am getting reacquainted with, happily so. I feel as though I can enjoy Hollywood Blvd more, that it feels more of an actual place meant to be enjoyed and explored now that the big blue hat has been removed.One of the main reasons for my visit was to finally ride Star Tours… for the first time ever! I had never gone on Star Tours before, including the original version. I get motion sick just from being in the car when someone else is driving. It’s rough. That discomfort then leads to a fear of any ride that isn’t considered a “kiddie ride.” However, I am slowly trying out rides I previously ruled out, seeing if I can face my fears and become some sort of ride junkie. To celebrate the occasion I stopped inside one of the merchandise shops and asked for an “I’m Celebrating” button. I proceeded to unabashedly write “1st time on Star Tours” on my shiny new button. At 6:30 PM there were three tables available as I walked into the patio area. I selected a high top table for two and had an acceptable view of the show, right as it began. I ordered the new Grapefruit Cake Martini ($10.25) because it is a twist on the classic Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake, and I feel if I drink anything, but wine or a martini at the Brown Derby Lounge I am doing it wrong.This duo costs $20.25 (before tax and tip) – what a value!This martini would make for a great after dinner drink, though it is not nearly as sweet or creamy as I expected it to be. Naturally, I order the Brown Derby Cobb Salad ($10), staying in line with my classic Brown Derby flavors thing I had going. The service was fairly efficient, the weather was great, the Star Wars show pulled on my heartstrings… I was blissful.I enjoyed myself at Disney’s Hollywood Studios… and I didn’t even ride any of the three major E-ticket rides, and skipped out on Muppet Vision 3-D, and three other live shows! Yes, this park has yet to reach its full potential, but I argue that there is still plenty to enjoy during this transition phase. Of course, I’ve often been accused of being a hopeless optimist, but my recent afternoon at Hollywood Studios is one my best ever!last_img read more

Zuma gears for State of Nation address

first_img6 February 2012It’s going to be a busy week for President Jacob Zuma as he prepares for his State of the Nation address, to be presented in Parliament – and broadcast live on radio and television – at 7pm on Thursday.The State of the Nation Address provides the President with a platform to communicate with the joint National Assembly in Parliament – and, as importantly, an opportunity to communicate with the people of South Africa.The speech, which is largely informed by the annual Cabinet Lekgotla in January, takes stock of the previous year’s achievements and charts a common direction for the country for the coming year.The 2012 January Lekgotla also served as a mid-term government review, with the Cabinet assessing progress made on the six job drivers of the New Growth Path: infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy, and tourism.The Lekgotla also reported that government had made notable progress across its five key priority areas of education, health, rural development, safety and crime prevention, as well as job creation.Zuma’s office said this year’s State of the Nation address takes place against the background of the celebration of 100 years by South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, which is regarded as part of the celebration of the country’s rich political heritage.In addition, the President was at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos last month, where the threat to the world economy – emanating from the seemingly inadequate steps to resolve the Eurozone crisis – dominated the discussions.He also recently attended the African Union’s heads of state and government summit in Ethiopia, which was grappling with the challenge of making the AU a sharper instrument for the development of the continent.“In this context, the President is likely to focus on the critical need for our country to move decisively and systematically in the implementation of policies and programmes that so far have helped us withstand the impact of the externally generated impediments to our development agenda,” the Presidency said.There’ll be no let-off for the President following his speech, with a number of engagements booked for Friday, starting with The New Age SoNA breakfast briefing at Grand West Casino in Cape Town.This will be followed by the tee-off of the Presidential Address Golf Challenge at De Zalze Golf Course, Stellenbosch, and the Presidential Golf Challenge Dinner at Cape Town’s Westin Hotel.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more