While guitarist Neal Schon has been occupied with the band Journey for the past 40+ years, he was also an integral member of the original lineup for Santana. With that band’s newly minted Santana IV album (read the review here) and first performance since 1973, it’s safe to say that Schon’s fretwork is in high demand. Considering Journey has a major summer tour schedule ahead, fans have been curious just how long the Santana reunion will last.Fortunately, Neal Schon answered those questions and more in a new interview with Billboard. In it, Schon talks at length about his renewed passion for the Santana band chemistry, and their future plans for the road ahead. When asked if the band was considering more shows, Schon said, “Definitely. I think that’s just completely inevitable.”He continues, saying, “It’s like The Force has risen again. There’s so many people who want to hear it, and what I’m hoping is that management opens their minds and eyes and sort of listens to the demand that’s out there. There’s a lot of fire, a lot of legs and a lot of people who want to see us all over the world.” While Journey has some big plans for 2016, the band might take a hiatus in 2017 to allow for Schon to work in Santana. “It’s something I really want to do, so maybe we (Journey) take a hiatus for a year,” Schon says. “Arnel (Pineda, Journey’s singer) would like to take some time off, so instead of doing two years in a row of hard Journey, maybe we do one year and we give it a rest and let it sit for a second. Sometimes when you come back it’s really fresh. So put aside some time for me next year because I’m going there and I’m going to do it. It’s a no-brainer for me. It’s something I have to do and it’s something that’s truly got some legs.” There’s also talk of recording more music! “When I listen to all the facets that are in that band, rhythmically, and what you can do, I have so many endless ideas,” he says. “You can go anywhere with it — you can go blues, you can go Latin, you can go Caribbean, you can go all African, you can go Cuban. Some bands, when they’re really in tune, it’s just like that. I think it’s a combination of the people that make the chemistry that just things erupt out of. That’s definitely what we have here.”With great new music and enthusiasm for this classic reunited band, the sky is the limit. It’s an exciting time to be a fan.
The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission needs updated contact information for farmers who use irrigation in the Suwannee and Ochlockonee watershed in south-central Georgia. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension can help provide it, says a UGA water specialist.Farmers there and across the state are required to place meters on their permitted wells to tally their water usage, said Kerry Harrison, a UGA Extension irrigation engineer. If the SWCC can catch up with them, the state will cover the cost ($1,000 per meter per well).The SWCC generally sends postcards to permit holders a year ahead to let them know about the meter installations in an area, he said. It’s now time to mail those cards to farmers in the Suwannee and Ochlockonee region.The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has an estimated 9,000 permits in the area. All contain contact addresses, but most are outdated rural-route numbers, he said. Those have since been changed to Emergency 911 addresses. But the changes were never shared with DNR.The SWCC wants the updated contact information for at least half the permit holders in the area by June 30. In 2003, UGA Extension agents within the Flint River Basin in southwest Georgia helped with a similar process. Less rushed, the update there took about four years to complete, Harrison said.Funding for this initiative was approved in late January. Depending on the actual number of updated contacts, the initiative will cost between $750,000 and $1.2 million. The money will pay for extra work hours and tools the county agents will need. “The agents already have full plates,” Harrison said. “They need extra resources to get this done within the time frame.”Along with updating addresses, UGA Extension agents will locate the water withdrawal site for each permit. That information will be given to Albany State University in Albany, Ga., to map the area irrigated with the permit.”The use of water in agricultural crop production is a very important element to ensure yields and subsequent farm profits,” Harrison said. “Hopefully, this effort to update agricultural permit contact information will not intrude on any farming operation.”UGA Extension covers information delivery from the UGA colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Family and Consumer Sciences to all 159 Georgia counties. Almost all counties have offices.The same system can be used to provide another government agency information, too, especially one that wants to improve lives or save folks money, Harrison said.Government agencies work best when they pool resources to aid Georgia citizens, he said. But the bureaucratic process can seem muddled, if not comical at times.”Hello, I’m with the gov’ment, and I’m here to help,” Harrison has joked about the initiative and the process when explaining it at meetings. But the initiative is serious. It’s sparked by the “Water Wars,” a decade-old negotiation between Georgia, Alabama and Florida over shared water rights.One skirmish in 2003 resulted in Georgia House Bill 579. It called for all agricultural water users to have a meter installed by 2009. The SWCC was given the task of implementing the metering program.”This effort is being undertaken so agriculture’s right to continue to use water in Georgia will be understood by other users of water in the state,” Harrison said.
YANA PASKOVA/Herald photoIt seemed like a fitting end.Hope was still lingering for Wisconsin, but with the Badgers down just 2-1 in the third period Saturday night, Phil Kessel — the highly-touted recruit and Madison native who chose Minnesota over Wisconsin — threw home the dagger.Kessel, who had been booed all weekend, picked his spot and blasted the puck through UW goaltender Shane Connelly’s legs. Skating around in celebration, he cupped his gloved hand to his ear as if to ask the sold-out Kohl Center: “What do you have to say to me now?”The relative silence was deafening.In a flash, UW was swept by its arch-nemesis — the second home sweep dealt to the Badgers in as many weekends — and its once eight-point lead atop the WCHA evaporated into a three-way tie for first in a matter of four games.To use Eaves’ own analogy of his team climbing a mountain throughout the season in hopes of reaching the summit — the national championship — this is a storm cloud that has hampered way too many days of climbing.”It’s just frustrating to have an eight-point cushion and now it’s a race for the WCHA first place,” UW assistant captain Tom Gilbert said. “It’s frustrating that you do a lot of good things and you don’t do a lot of good things. Unfortunately for us, we’re on a little slide right now.”It is clear that the team is still feeling the effects of the loss of star netminder Brian Elliott, who went down nearly two weeks ago with a leg injury. “Look what we’ve done in the first half, and even going into the second half, we were a really good team,” junior Robbie Earl said. “Losing Brian Elliott, that’s a big impact. He was a part of that leadership role and that’s tough to deal with.”Before he was injured, the Badgers had lost just once in a matter of 19 games. They had been the top-ranked team for seven straight weeks.”There was confidence, there was trust that Brian created with his teammates,” Eaves said. “We’re trying to get that created with Shane [Connelly].” Prior to the loss of Elliott, Wisconsin had allowed three or more goals in just two regular-season games all year. The freshman Connelly and UW have given up three or more tallies in their last three games.It’s safe to say the team just hasn’t been the same since that point.However, feel free to insert a Lee Corso-like “Not so fast, my friend” here.”You have to take a look at the situation,” Eaves said. “Right now, for us, the main thing is just to maintain and kind of regroup here in the middle of the storm and make sure we’re not losing confidence in ourselves.”Yes, the eight-point cushion that the Badgers had just two weeks ago is gone, but Wisconsin is still tied for first place in the best league in college hockey.Furthermore, the Badgers’ schedule down the stretch still bodes well for the team.Connelly will try to grab his first win of his career next weekend when UW takes on a floundering Minnesota-Duluth team, which has been on a Badger-like slide as of late but did not have the luxury of an eight-point lead.Instead, the Bulldogs have gone from potential league contenders to less-than pretenders. They have lost six straight games, none of them to teams higher than sixth place in the WCHA.Following the series with Duluth, the Badgers will have a week off from league play as they take on Ohio State at Lambeau Field, giving Elliott one more week to nurse his injury.Eaves said last week that he expects Elliott to be back when the Badgers travel to Michigan Tech, the first of three straight weekends against teams in the bottom half of the league standings to close out the season.”We’ve dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, but you look at the bright side, it’s tied [at the top of the league],” Earl said. “It’s still in our hands, and it’s up to us what we want to do with it.”Did UW have an eight-point lead which looked insurmountable at the time? Yes, but if you would have told the Badgers at the beginning of the year that they would be tied for the WCHA lead at this point in their schedule, they probably would have taken that.Then again, anything is possible in the WCHA, and Eaves and Wisconsin better hope that the sun breaks through this storm cloud immediately.
By John BurtonState Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon is not letting up on his battle against the red light camera program and wants the program eliminated.“I’m not going to stop. As long as people’s lives are in danger and people are unjustly being punished I will be unrelenting,” he vowed.O’Scanlon, R-13, made those comments while discussing his recent criticism leveled at the state Department of Transportation (DOT) report on the program which analyzed two year’s worth of data from two Newark intersections and 12 months of information from 24 other locations.O’Scanlon contends the state report offers a skewed take on the findings to put the program in a positive light.“In order to say something positive about the pilot program here in New Jersey, you have to torture the data to the point it’s irrelevant,” he said.The report concluded that the safety data were promising and it showed a decrease in right-angle crashes.Scanlon has been waging this war for a while now, voicing his objections to the traffic safety pilot program, approved by the Legislature in 2009. It is slated to run for five years.“For me it’s a justice thing,” he said last month. “Government shouldn’t be designing rules to rip people off.”He charges that the program is unjustly issuing violations for cars traveling through the camera-manned intersections. This may be being done with the government acting – perhaps unintentionally – in collusion with the private industry managing the cameras, according to O’Scanlon.The assemblyman has also alleged yellow lights are incorrectly calibrated, shorter than the law allows, so motorists are being photographed running red lights and are therefore subject to unwarranted summons. The result, he said, is the program is failing to make intersections any safer and might actually be making some even less safe.The pilot program has been operating in 25 municipalities throughout the state at roughly 100 intersections that DOT spokesman Joe Dee said, “have proven to be problematic in terms of crashes and severe crashes.”None of those intersections are in Monmouth County, where O’Scanlon lives and his legislative district represents 16 of the county’s towns. The closest intersections to the area are in Woodbridge in Middlesex County and Brick, located in Ocean County.While the issue doesn’t directly affect his district, O’Scanlon said there is a bigger issue at hand. “If we’re not going to have rational regional traffic laws,” he said, “people are going to lose respect for law on every level.”American Traffic Solutions, with its U.S. headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., installed the cameras and operates them. The system works when the traffic signal turns red, not yellow, with the cameras photographing motorists driving through an intersection or making an illegal right turn on red. Traffic citations are then mailed to the car owners, said Charles Territo, vice president of communications for American Traffic Solutions.“The bottom line is that cities and municipalities using red light setting cameras have seen a significant reduction in the number of violations being captured and the number of crashes and injuries,” Territo said in response to O’Scanlon’s allegations.Local governments have been using the devices for about 20 years. Currently there are about 7,000 of them in operation around the U.S., he said.O’Scanlon’s most recent criticism is leveled at the newest DOT report that O’Scanlon called “wholly statistically invalid.”The report found the pilot program should continue until it sunsets in 2014, giving the Legislature sufficient data to debate continuing and expanding or canceling the program, the DOT’s Dee said.While O’Scanlon contended “there’s an agenda on someone’s part,” given the “unwarranted positive spin” in the report to support the program, he wouldn’t offer any hints as to who was behind the agenda. However, he said he didn’t think it was on the “commissioner level.”O’Scanlon said the program “cannot go on (until 2014) in its present form. It should be killed right now.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, ILLUMINANT, WINNER: “Yes, I expected to be that close to the pace. Fanticola was the only speed in the race so I knew I needed to be right there. My filly has speed too, so I knew it would be ok.“I think she improved off her Jenny Wiley (Grade I, 1 1/16 at Keeneland April 16) third place finish in her last out. The turf is a bit softer here and that’s maybe better for her, especially going a mile and an eighth. And here at Santa Anita I feel it’s better if you’re closer to the lead. At Keeneland, it’s a bigger turf course and when you come from off the pace there, it’s easier.“We work every day to win a race like this so I’ll really enjoy it and have to thank Michael McCarthy and all the connections.” ARON WELLMAN, ECLIPSE THOROUGHBRED PARTNERS, ILLUMINANT, WINNER: “First of all, all the credit has to go to this man, Michael McCarthy. This filly is high maintenance and he’s done a great job. She ran her heart out last time at Keeneland (when third, behind winner, Tepin and runner-up, Weekela). Winning big races like this at Santa Anita and other tracks around the country is what it’s all about. Without our partners we wouldn’t be able to do this.“We’re a Todd Pletcher organization, he’s our main man. As a disciple of Todd’s it just made all the sense in the world for us to support Michael when he hung up his shingle to go out on his own and I couldn’t be happier for him and his family. He’s got about five or six for us now.“Gary (Young) and I are a two man team at the two year old sales and we found her at the sale down in Ocala, FL together.” MICHAEL MCCARTHY, ILLUMINANT, WINNER: “It’s pretty exciting to win a race like this. I thought she would run well today. She’s a very honest filly, tries hard and I thought the mile and an eighth would be right up her alley.“Fanticola is a very tough mare and I was just kinda hoping we would have enough to get to her. Luckily today, we did.”“I didn’t give Flavien a whole of instructions before the race. I didn’t think he needed it.” TRAINER QUOTES NOTES: Winning Owners, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and west coast representative, Aron Wellman operate out of Del Mar, CA. JOCKEY QUOTES JAVIER CASTELLANO, WEKEELA, SECOND: “We had a perfect trip and we were in a good position the whole way. The pace was slow, but we were right behind the winner turning for home and that filly never stopped.” -30-