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Emanuel Martínez brought muralism to Denver. Now gentrification threatens its art

Fresco in the recreation center painted by Emanuel Martínez in 1970. Photo courtesy of the Chicano Murals of Colorado project

Culture

The artist’s iconic murals celebrating Chicano history and culture have made Mile High City a mecca for public art.


Public art has become a contested space visual battlefield in the epic story of Denver’s growth; the one to which the artist Emanuel Martínez has been a part since he painted his first mural on the walls of La Alma Lincoln Park in 1970. In a new art exhibition, Smoking mirrors: visual stories of identity, resistance and resilience, which opens on October 14 at the Museo de las Americas, Martínez will do what he does best: tell the story of the resistance and resilience of indigenous peoples, using mythology and history as a lexicon.

The exhibit opens just weeks after Denver City Council voted unanimously to make La Alma Lincoln Park a historic cultural district. Much of the conversation behind that decision centered on Martínez and the preservation of the hundreds of murals he created to celebrate Chicano history and culture, which many longtime residents consider to be the soul of a neighborhood threatened by gentrification.

“Her contributions aren’t just aesthetic,” said Denver City Councilor Jamie Torres, “they speak for the history of our community, our battles for visibility and justice, and our cultural contributions.” Torres District 3, which includes neighborhoods in the western part of town like Sun Valley and Westwood, is an open-air museum dedicated to Martínez’s murals.

Alma Lincoln Park has been a focal point for the community since its days as a hub of civil rights activism for the Chicano community of Denver. It was home to the Brown Berets, a Communist Party group, and the Crusade for Justice; the local organization led by activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales protested against police brutality, discrimination in employment and inequity in public education suffered by Latinx communities in the city. It was also the site where Martínez painted his first of many murals, not under the auspices of municipal cultural management, but as a form of resistance.

“The first mural I did was outside the housing projects,” says Martínez. “When the director of the Denver Housing Authority heard about it, he came up with an eviction notice.” Martínez says it was his collaboration with the community to paint the artwork that kept him from being dislodged. “The residents who were helping me paint said, ‘If you kick him out, you’re going to have to kick us all out. “

This commitment to community is what continues to distinguish Martínez’s work – which has also appeared in the Smithsonian and in California – from contemporary muralists of some notoriety. (His first commissioned piece, completed in 1967, was for the Bishop of Los Angeles; a Catholic mass altar emblazoned with a crucifix bearing a brown-skinned Jesus and a native woman holding wheat and grapes, believed to signify bread and communion wine.) It’s a commitment that spans decades.

Emmanuel Martinez
“Eyes on the park” by Emanuel Martínez. Photo by Philip Clapham

In 1971, Martínez wanted to create a space for young people to learn and express themselves through art. That year he was hired by Denver Parks and Recreation, first as a lifeguard at La Alma, then, after receiving a grant to implement an arts and crafts training program for neighborhood youth, in as a recreation coordinator. The only problem was the lack of space. Martínez and other members of the community therefore converted an old on-site storage building into a year-round center.

“I never really intended to be a recreation leader,” says Martínez. “I wanted to paint murals.

The unexpected concert, which Martínez remembers, paid around $ 3.60 an hour, had perfect timing. “The town was spending a lot more money removing graffiti than hiring me to do murals,” which Marintez said led him to become the city’s first and only full-time muralist. Denver. There was a catch, however. He had to buy his own paint and supplies. Despite the costs, the artist painted hundreds of murals on building facades and bridges, inside schools and other buildings.

He even turned public swimming pools into gallery space, like in Curtis-Mestizo Park’s “Eyes On the Park,” a fascinating multicultural mural of three subjects with tanned skin, square jaws and sunglasses painted in 1971. which represents the historically black and brown residents neighborhood. “La Alma”, painted in 1978, adorns a wall of the eponymous park’s recreation center with vibrant images full of symbolism linking contemporary Chicano peoples to their indigenous past. His 2000 mural titled “Confluent People” has become an iconic splash of paint along the Speer Boulevard hallway and one of Denverite favorites.

Martínez has since expanded his repertoire, working as a relief artist and sculptor; something that, according to Michael Chavez, program director for Denver Arts & Venues, is often overlooked. “His bust for Cesar Chavez Park is amazing,” he says. Its most recent, an imposing monolith titled “La Raza Unida”, was unveiled in June 2021 during a renaming ceremony for La Raza Park. The piece should be presented to the city as a gift to its permanent collection of public art, according to Chavez. And, at the Museo’s next exhibition, Martínez will unveil new works, including a 6-meter-long sculpture of Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent deity of Mexico, alongside more than 30 local artists.

Emmanuel Martinez
Emmanuel Martínez. Photo courtesy of Chicano Murals of Colorado Project

Martínez’s cultural and political awareness began when he was a child, growing up at Five Points. He was part of a group of young people passionate about the Chicano movement. These early political voices were heard through art and continue to influence generations of Chicano and Latinx artists in Denver.

But some, like Lucha Martínez de Luna, archaeologist, founder and director of the Chicano / a Murals of Colorado project, and daughter of Martínez, see Five Points as a warning.

“I am worried because Five Points, which is also a historic cultural district, has almost 100% gentrified,” says Martínez de Luna. She suggests the designation could spur an influx of artists and their co-ops, leaving a trail for developers and yuppies to follow, displacing longtime residents in a process called “art washing.” “The cooperatives are starting to create artist studios, to discuss how they are going to work with the community, but they are also starting to work with developers,” explains Martínez de Luna. “That’s exactly what they did in Five Points, they even changed the name of the neighborhood to RiNo.”

Alma Lincoln Park is the second historic cultural district in Mile High City. Five points is the first. In a 2020 Westword essay by co-founder Patricia Calhoun, she pontificates on how the historically black neighborhood, once known as Harlem of the West, might be more aptly named “Gentrification Station”. The neighborhood in which blacks were demarcated stretched as far as the Platte River, and for many longtime former residents, its consolidation and renaming is a racial form or prejudice intended to erase its black past in order to make it an enjoyable arts hub.

The move came as the neighborhood, one of Denver’s oldest, continues to gentrify; this double-edged social phenomenon promises economic revival in the form of restaurants, cafes and art galleries, but also the displacement of long-time residents. This, just after a 2020 study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition which named Denver the “second most gentrified city in America.” A 2015 study from the city of Denver had previously classified Lincoln Park and other historically black and Latin neighborhoods as “vulnerable” to gentrification.

This change potentially threatens Martínez’s murals. Since the designation only protects physical buildings, not what is painted on them, art exists at the option of building owners, especially works of art on private property. Thus, the organization of Martínez de Luna, whose mission is to promote, protect and preserve the heritage of the Chicano muralists of Colorado, is working against the clock.

She knows there is no way to get the art back once it’s gone. When asked how many murals had been made or still exist, she could not answer. “Every time I drive through a neighborhood, I remember a place where there was a mural and it’s just not there,” she says. “It’s heartbreaking.”


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When random former Yankees become heroes for other teams

As the Yankees wrapped up a win over the Rangers on Monday, another game unfolded just hours south of them, which also impacted their playoff hopes. With two strikeouts in the ninth inning, the Rays hung on to a 6-4 lead over the Blue Jays, but Toronto loaded the goals.

To try and get out the last one, Tampa Bay made a pitch change and brought in Dietrich Enns. This name might not mean anything to you, but if you’re a fan of Yankees prospects, it will. Enns was a 2012 Yankees draft pick who spent until 2017 in the system, when he was sent to the Twins in Jaime García’s trade. He wasn’t exactly a high-profile hope in the system, but he was someone you would know if you kept track of the miners.

Enns made his MLB debut during that 2017 season. After that, he no longer played in majors for the Twins, but spent a few more years in their system. He had a season in minors in the Padres organization in 2019, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in 2020 before COVID hit, and then resurfaced with the Rays this year.

In the game against the Blue Jays, Enns fell 3-0 behind, before getting, uh, help with calls that were called out on a possible strikeout. It was an important victory for the Rays as they tried to finish the AL East, but it was also important for the Yankees in the Wild Card race.

It’s not uncommon for a seemingly random name to end up having to play a big part in an important game, especially in September during appeals season. However, it’s pretty funny that, in this case, the Random Player is a notable name for at least a subset of Yankees fans. It made me think of other times when a random former Yankee appeared on other teams and ended up playing a pivotal role in an important game.

I’m not sure what this says about my brain that during the brainstorming times for this post the first name that came to my mind was Travis Ishikawa.

Ishikawa notably had two full batting appearances during the damn 2013 season for the Yankees, being picked up and then released by the team in just under a week. He then spent the remainder of 2013 with the White Sox organization, was picked up that offseason by the Pirates and started the 2014 season there before being released. The Giants then signed him on April 25, 2014.

He only appeared for San Francisco in late July and has only made 81 plate appearances for them in the regular season. However, Ishikawa became semi-important for the Giants as their regular first baseman Brandon Belt missed a good chunk of time with injury issues.

Then towards the end of the season with a few outfielder struggling with injuries, the Giants brought Ishikawa to left field, something he had never done in the majors before. He continued to hold that position for most of the rest of the playoffs as the Giants ultimately won the World Series. However, before that, he also wrote his name in the lore of the playoffs.

The Giants led 3-1 in the NLCS but entered the eighth inning of Game 5 as the Cardinals threatened to send the series back to St. Louis. Mike Morse tied the game with a homerun in the eighth, setting the stage for the ninth.

With two runs and one out in the ninth, Ishikawa sent the Giants to the World Series with a three-run homerun.

In doing so, he became the fourth player to achieve a winning home run in the LCS and the first to do so in the NLCS.


It might be unfair to call Muddy Ruel a “random” Yankee since he has spent four seasons with the team. However, he only played a lot in two of them, and his career there was not exactly successful.

After the 1920 season, the Yankees sent him to the Red Sox in a deal that notably brought 1923 championship ace Waite Hoyt to New York City. He spent two seasons in Boston before a trade in February 1923 saw him move to the Washington Senators. There, Ruel probably had the best seasons of his career, including a highlight in the Senators’ only World Series championship.

The Senators and Giants went all the way to the 12th inning of Game 7 of the 1924 World Series. Washington rallied by two in the eighth, with Ruel scoring one, to send the game to the extras.

Ruel posted an out in the 12th and fouled a pitch. Giants wide receiver Hank Gowdy appeared to have it, but stepped on his mask while going for the catch and dropped the ball, keeping Ruel alive. Ruel took advantage, doubling up and, after another mistake, finally scored the winning point on Earl McNeely’s championship-winning shot.


These are two examples of former Yankees who marked a turning point in the season, now let’s look at which one didn’t.

Chris Martin turned into a pretty good reliever with the Braves, but upon joining the Yankees in 2015 he had a career spanning six years and was mostly fodder for Coldplay jokes. He pitched 20.2 innings with the Yankees in 2015, wasn’t particularly great, was released after the season, and spent the next two years in Japan.

Martin was excellent abroad and returned to MLB in 2018, and has become a good major league reliever. He was particularly impressive last year, posting a 1.00 ERA (479 ERA +!) In 18 innings during the pandemic shortened season. He then allowed a run in 6.2 innings at the start of the playoffs, helping the Braves advance to a World Series game.

However, the Dodgers went from three games to one and then rallied to tie in Game 7 after falling behind in Game 6. Atlanta asked Martin to finish sixth and left him for seventh against the Dodgers Order. He struck out the first two hitters on strikes but gave a home run to Cody Bellinger, himself a descendant of a random Yankee, giving LA a lead they would never give up. The Dodgers would win the game, the series and a World Series championship in the next round.


There are almost certainly other examples, so let us know when your favorite, completely random Yankee played a pivotal role in a major location for another team.

Sources

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-notebook-travis-ishikawa-joins-league-championship-series-icons/c-98827438

October 10, 1924: Big Train finally wins the biggest one of all

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS1/WS1192410100.shtml


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Complete Guide: South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Images

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s 12th Round Opening Race and 30th NASCAR Cup Series Cash Event of the 2021 season.


Or: Las Vegas, Nevada
Green flag: 7:19 p.m. ET
Grand Marshal: Dana White, UFC President
Television / Radio: NBCSN / NBC Sports app, PRN, NASCAR SiriusXM radio
Forecast: Sunny, with a high near 93 degrees. Wind southeast 5 to 9 mph, according to NOAA.gov
Race distance: 267 laps, 400.5 miles
Steps: 80 | 160 | 267
Pit road speed: 45 mph
Attention car speed: 55 mph
Las Vegas 101: Get the whole truth
Starting composition: see the full composition

Stall Missions: See Who Stops Where | Expert breaks down pit selections
Kevin Harvick Lvms Blur
Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Five to watch

Here are five great stories we’ll be following at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

1. The round of 12 opener sets the stage for the remainder of the playoffs, especially with a trip to the Talladega Superspeedway looming in a week’s time. With a poor finish in Las Vegas, any driver in the playoffs can falter on the elimination line, even the favorites. Whichever driver wins this race, he has the luxury of knowing it’s one lap away from fighting for a championship in Phoenix. Based on the history of the track, the pilots of the Penske team Joey logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan blaney could have an advantage. Since 2014, drivers with the organization have finished in the top 10 in 86% of races (25 of 29) and have managed to win five of the last 11. The usual favorites, namely Kyle larson, will probably have a say. But don’t sleep on Penske’s horses, as they seek to fight their way into the title race.

2. Does the Kevin harvic vs. Chase Elliott saga over? Or is it just starting? Only time will tell. After a late break-in that led to an altercation in the pits, the two title contenders might be wary of each other on the track this weekend in Las Vegas. Neither driver can really afford to lose valuable points at this point in the playoffs, with Elliott in sixth and Harvick below the elimination line in 12th. But if the tensions resurface this weekend, we might see someone rolling the dice. Prepare your popcorn.

3. Did Hendrick Motorsports regain his momentum in the playoffs? After Joe Gibbs Racing Denny hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. erupted in the first round with victories on two of the three tracks, the questions started to come from the HMS group. Alex Bowman and Guillaume Byron fought valiantly to escape elimination in the Bristol Night Race, each doing so in impressive ways. Now the focus is on a 1.5 mile, superspeedway and road course. Every track should prove favorable for the bow ties at HMS, led by the points leader Kyle larson. All eight drivers from both organizations compete in the Round of 12. With only eight spots left for the next round, will a team leave Las Vegas with a clear advantage?

4. All but one Las Vegas races since 2014 have been won by a driver currently in the round of 16. Kurt busch – who was knocked out in this year’s round of 16 – shocked the field with an unlikely victory in front of his hometown crowd last season. Behind him? Matt DiBenedetto, who completely missed this year’s playoffs, in the finalist position. A non-playoff winner takes away a chance for a playoff driver to lock in the next round, which means a more difficult challenge for drivers near the elimination line to make their way through. Erik Jones was the top non-elimination rider in the March race. He finished 10th. Watch out for the underdogs still competing for track trophies and momentum for next season.

5. After an opening roller coaster ride for the NASCAR playoffs – a fourth place finish at Richmond Raceway, sandwiched between two finishes of 25th or worse – the question deserves to be asked. Can Chase Elliott repeat as Cup Series champion this season? He currently enters the round of 12 in sixth place, eight points above the elimination line. The concern is that we are heading for one of its most unfavorable tracks. He has three consecutive 13th or worse finishes and a DNF trio in nine career starts in Las Vegas. We haven’t seen any back-to-back champions in the first series since Jimmie Johnson had five consecutive wins from 2006-10. The good news for Elliott fans is that we’ve seen Driver # 9 play. back against the wall several times. And there is a road course in this tour. Complete playoff schedule.

The essentials of race dayFantasyfastlane Hero announcements

Our biggest pieces of the week – wrap up for race day from all angles.

• Power classifications: Will Alex Bowman sneak up to the knockout stages? | Latest rankings
• Overview of the paint scheme:
Sparkling Programs for Sin City | See them here
• Impulse of the playoffs: 12 set round after Bristol | Full breakdown
• Debate:
Steve Letarte Says Kyle Larson’s ‘Firepower’ Will Surpass Denny Hamlin | Listen to his case
• Bubble watch:
Kevin Harvick ignites – there is still work to be done | See the distribution of bubbles
• Fantastic Fastlane:
A Ryan Blaney bargain in Las Vegas? | Top plays, sleepers
• Analysis:
Round of 12 distribution track by track | See here

Get in on the action

Think you know NASCAR? Test your courage with play, fantasy.

• What are the chances?: Betting odds for Las Vegas | See them here
• Paris NASCAR:
Impact of Brad Keselowski’s departure | Read more
• Sports betting 101:
Finding Value in the Betting Market Watch and learn how
• Let’s talk about the playoffs: How Fantasy Live Play For The Playoffs Works | Read more
• On the grid:
Make Your Choices for the Playoff Grid ™ Challenge Before Las Vegas | Choose now
• No risk, big reward: Try to win cash prizes with the free Jackpot Races app | Hit the jackpot
• Play LIVE:
Complete Guide to NASCAR Fantasy Live 2021 | Get the FAQ

Souvenirs from Las Vegas2007lasvegastbt

Ahead of the Cup Series races in Las Vegas for the second time this season, take a look back at the history of the important track.

• All-time winners: Las Vegas Auto Circuit | See the list
• Top 10:
Tours conducted at Las Vegas Motor Speedway | Who led the most?
• Remember when:
Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton put on a show for the ages | Watch the Replay of Las Vegas Xfinity Series 2007
• Last year:
Kurt Busch puts on a show for the hometown crowd | Full recap of the race
• Memorable moments in Las Vegas:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. runs out of gas | Relive the moments

Fast facts

Powerful statistics relevant to the race, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

Four drivers have finished in the top 10 in all three playoff races at this point: Denny hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle larson and Kevin harvic.
Kyle larsonplayoff points are more than second and third combined.
Each driver for Penske team finished in the top 10 at the Las Vegas race in March.
• Matt DiBenedetto has finished second in two of the last three races in Las Vegas.
The winner of stage 2 in Las Vegas has won six of the last eight races with stages.

Catch the package

Read up on all the headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.

• Towards the Moon: NASCAR Launches On Social Community Platform Discord | Join now
• Fine for five:
Five teams hit with violations after Bristol | Penalty report
• Happy, barely:
Kevin Harvick retains advantage over long list of rivals | Read more
• At home :
Team leader Rodney Childers to stay with SHR “for years to come” | More details
• Luck or skill:
Joey Logano explains why he thinks luck comes into play in Round of 16 |Hear why
• Two is a tandem:
William Byron enjoys his relationship with team leader Randy Fugle | Read more
• Bodywork:
New Body Styles Unveiled for Season 22 of the Camping World Truck Series | Learn more about the changes
• Unfinished:
Brad Keselowski still in the title photo at Team Penske | Read more
• Back to Charlotte:
AJ Allmendinger to enter Cup Series competition at Charlotte Roval | Read more
• Roots: Peyton Sellers Wins Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship | See how

Say what?

Notable quotes from sports stars ahead of Sunday’s race.

Brad Keselowski
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

“Las Vegas has been amazing for us. We had a great run there last fall and got reworked on a restart and didn’t get that top 10 but other than that we’ve been a strong contender year after year. I think we finished second there in the spring and seem to be able to do it there, so I’m hoping for big things. Obviously we need a strong performance for this round and the races there. It’s a tough round and I think we’ll have a good chance of doing it. “- Brad Keselowski, driver of Team No.2 Penske Ford

“This is the track where you can most control your own destiny, so this is the one you need to put the most emphasis on. If you do a good job as a driver and your car is fast and you the team does their job, that’s where you can get your best result. The other two tracks you are more likely to get caught up in someone else’s problems. I’m sure the race will be the most nervous of the whole 12-car playoff squad, hoping they perform well, because there’s just no data after that. – Denny Hamlin, Toyota driver # 11 Joe Gibbs Racing

“The round of 12 starts off with a great race track for me. Vegas is a place I’ve always run well and can’t wait to go. It will be nice to have a good run in Vegas leading up to the unknown, Talladega. – Christopher Bell, Toyota driver # 20 Joe Gibbs Racing


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Bills, Panthers withdraw September trade

On this date in 2018, we had a rare transaction in September. On September 25, 2018, the Bills sent an offensive lineman Marshall newhouse at the Panthers. In exchange, Buffalo received a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021.

Newhouse started 31 of 47 games for the Packers in his first three NFL seasons, but by the time 2018 arrived, Newhouse had struggled to hold a steady gig. Still, despite brief stints with the Bengals, Giants and Raiders, the versatile lineman has found a way to stay in the lineup. This included a 2017 campaign where he started each of his 14 games in Oakland.

So while the Bills had some depth on the offensive line, Newhouse’s ability to play both tackle and guard made him a natural target once he was let loose by the Raiders. During the 2018 offseason, Newhouse joined Buffalo on a one-year contract. It seemed that Newhouse had carved out a role for himself after trading in Cordy Glenn and the departure of Seantrel Henderson. However, in the first few weeks of the season, the offensive lineman didn’t do much behind the starters. Dion Dawkins and Jordan mills. So, on that date in 2018, the Bills decided to cut their losses and move on from the veteran, sending him to Carolina.

Carolina also seemed to appreciate Newhouse’s versatility, except that they had an exhausted depth chart and needed the veteran to play. With Daryl williams and Matt Kalil sidelined. the hope was that their acquisition would serve as a reliable backup and replacement behind Taylor moton and Amini Silatolu. Newhouse ended up seeing the field for 11 games (two starts) for his new team, and after seeing the time on just 14 snaps in three games with Buffalo, he played 197 snaps with the Panthers.

The Panthers did not advance to the playoffs and Newhouse decided to leave the organization in 2019 while chasing a ring. He signed with the Saints in the offseason, but didn’t make it into the regular season. He ended up spending much of the 2019 campaign with the Patriots, playing 15 games with nine starts. However, New England were ousted in the first round. Newhouse spent the 2020 campaign with the Titans, having played just four games.

From Buffalo’s perspective, trade was a mixed bag. The positive: the team signed quickly Jeremiah Sirles to take Newhouse’s place on the roster, and he ended up playing just 12 games (with five starts) for Buffalo. The downside: While the Bills ended up receiving that conditional seventh-round pick from the Panthers, they didn’t do much with it. They used the pick on the Texas Tech offensive lineman Jack Anderson, but the rookie ended up being sidelined by the team and landed in his practice squad. He was caught by the Eagles earlier this week.

It’s hard to expect much from a September trade, and looking back, this trade really hasn’t provided much intrigue for either side. Still, you have to thank both teams for slightly shaking their teams up so early in the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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News in Brief: It’s not too late to join the Solar Tour on Saturday; Wilmette’s birthday party is on; Golf outing on a stroll

Go Green Wilmette is leading a free tour of over a dozen Wilmette homes with solar panels from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 25.

During the visit, GGW President Beth Drucker and other homeowners will provide information on the solar power systems installed in their homes. The tour will pass through Wilmette as shown on this interactive map.

Please note that some facilities will only offer ‘curbside viewing’.

According to a press release from Go Green Wilmette, the organization and another local environmental group, Go Green Northbrook, organized their own village-wide solar tours in conjunction with the Illinois Solar Energy Association’s annual tour on September 25.


Wilmette’s 150th birthday celebrations have begun

Village President Senta Plunkett told guests at Wilmette Beach Bash that that night, September 18, marked the start of a series of events to honor the village’s 150th anniversary.

The village of Wilmette was incorporated in 1872 and, for the next year, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of that time, according to Plunkett.

“To mark this important milestone, the Village is undertaking a series of events to educate us on Wilmette’s history, to promote special aspects of our Village and, above all, to have fun,” she reportedly told the crowd. Beach Bash. “After what we have all endured over the past 18 months, we look forward to the celebration to renew and strengthen the bonds we share as friends and neighbors. I can’t think of a better place to start the celebration than here, at Beach Bash 2021, in partnership with the Ouilmette Foundation.

According to a press release from the Village of Wilmette, the Wilmette Village Council’s 150th Anniversary Planning Committee is organizing a “celebration that will foster community spirit and unity while honoring the history of the village and looking towards it. to come up “.

The events will be punctuated by a community party on September 10, 2022, at the Center du Village.

In addition to the festival, the committee is planning a series of lectures, a winter celebration, art exhibitions and projects to improve the community’s public spaces, the statement said.

For more information, visit www.wilmette150.org, email [email protected] or call (847) 853-7529.


A quartet at the annual outing

Ramblers Golf Outing raises funds for tuition assistance

Loyola Academy supporters gathered at the North Shore Country Club on September 20 for the 27th Annual Ramblers Golf Outing.

A day of fun and fundraising included a number of contests and prizes, many of which were donated by Loyola alumni.

According to a press release from Loyola, current parent and board member Kevin Lynch, John Defraytas, Willy Hendricks and Kyler Ferguson took first place in the raw competition. On the Peoria handicap system, Doug Kadison, Chris Friedrich, Michael Zera and Jim Greco took first place.

Courtney O’Connor and Chris Burke had the longest drive on the 12th hole. Kevin Willer and Brian Callahan were closest to the hairpin on the 3rd hole.

“We are grateful to our golf outing hosts Rob Banas and the Rambler members of the North Shore Country Club,” the statement said. “Their generosity and their efforts allowed us to have the best possible experience. ”

The outing’s goal, the statement said, of raising enough funds to provide a year of schooling for a student has been met. Over the past 27 years, the golf outing has raised over $ 250,000 for the tuition program.


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Six elected to the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame

GREENVILLE, NC – Six extraordinary people will be inducted into the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday November 5 at the 43rd annual installment ceremony inside Harvey Hall as part of the annual Hall of Fame / Letters Winners Weekend.

The exceptional class includes the former president of the Pirate Club and philanthropist Bill clark; former football player and head coach Ruffin McNeill, who led ECU to four bowl games in six seasons; former softball pitcher Toni Paisley and infielder Keisha Shepperson (Stewart), both of whom have won All-America accolades during their careers; and Jacob Smith, who was a member of the 1959 NAIA Pirates National Championship men’s swim team. Kelly wernert (Krainiak), a two-time all-conference artist, who becomes the first volleyball-specific player to ever be elected to the Hall of Fame.

The inductees will be publicly recognized inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium as part of the halftime festivities during the November 6 soccer match against Temple.

The six new inductees will bring the total membership of the ECU Track and Field Hall of Fame to 178. to themselves and to the University.

Clark (ECU ’66) is an avid supporter of ECU Athletics and has a long history of philanthropy with the Pirate Club. He pledged the principal donation of $ 1.5 million in support of the construction of a new baseball stadium that honors both Clark’s generosity and the legacy of former Pirates head coach Keith LeClair, Clark-LeClair Stadium. He also provided the main donation in support of the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium renovation campaign, as he has been honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award and the Chancellor’s Amethyst in recent years.

McNeill (ECU ’80) was a three-year starter as the Pirates’ defensive back in the late 1970s before being named head coach in January 2010. In six seasons, McNeill led the Pirates to four appearances. in a bowl and posted the fifth highest head. Coaching victories in program history, while developing 12 first-team selections for all conferences and a trio of MVP / Player of the Year award winners. In 2013, he led ECU to just the second 10-game winning season in the program’s history.

Paisley (ECU ’10) is the most decorated player in pirate softball history. She was named U.S. Conference Pitcher of the Year for three consecutive seasons (2009, ’10, ’11) as well as the league’s Freshman-of-the-Year in 2007. In 2009, she was appointed Co-C-USA. Female athlete of the year. Paisley ended her playing career with 118 wins, 23rd– most of NCAA history, while leading ECU to consecutive conference titles in 2010 and 2011.

Shepperson (ECU ’01) won NFCA All-America honors in 2000 and 2001 and was a three-time All-Region player. She was named Big South Freshman of the Year in 1998 and won first-team honors in all conferences the following season while helping the Pirates win their first conference title and first place in the NCAA tournament. Shepperson holds career records in the program for runs, hits and doubles and has the second most stolen bases.

Smith (ECU ’60) won All-America honors in five events at the 1959 NAIA Nations Championship competition, winning silver in the 100-meter freestyle and bronze in the 50-meter freestyle. He also swam at the top of the 1959 national championship free relay team. The following year, Smith won bronze in the 100 freestyle and helped the 400 freestyle relay team to finish second.

Wernert (ECU ’07) received All-Conference USA first-team honors as a junior and senior, placing third in the league in eliminations per game in 2007. She helped the Pirates record consecutive winning seasons for the first time in a quarter century in 2005 and 2006. In second year, she led ECU to her first C-USA tournament victory. Wernert set season and career records for the winning program, which placed ninth all-time in C-USA history, at the end of her eligibility.

An interactive video listing and clips of all Hall of Fame members can be found in the lobby of the Smith-Williams Center, which opened in 2013. Photos of all Hall of Fame members are now available permanently exhibited and the 2021 dedicated class will be added. at the Hall of Fame weekend exhibit, November 5-6.

All Hall of Fame members will receive an email next week with full details of the Hall of Fame ceremony. If you are currently a Hall of Fame member and need to update your contact details, please email [email protected] with the appropriate changes.


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Haitians see the history of racist policies in the treatment of migrants

The footage – of men on horseback, appearing to use reins as whips to surround Haitian asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States from Mexico – sparked an uproar. But for many Haitians and black Americans, they are just confirmation of a deeply held belief:

US immigration policies, they say, are and have long been anti-black.

The border patrol’s treatment of Haitian migrants, they say, is just the latest in a long history of discriminatory US policies and indignities faced by blacks, sparking new anger among Haitian Americans, advocates black immigrants and civil rights leaders.

They point to immigration data which indicates that Haitians and other black migrants routinely face structural barriers to entering or living legally in the United States – and often experience disproportionate contact with the United States criminal justice system that can jeopardize their residence or accelerate their deportation.

Haitians, in particular, are granted asylum at the lowest rate of any nationality with a consistently high number of asylum seekers, according to an analysis of Associated Press data.

“Black immigrants live at the intersection of race and immigration and, for too long, have fallen through the cracks of bureaucracy and legal loopholes,” said Yoliswa Cele of the UndocuBlack Network, an organization national defense of the rights of current and former undocumented blacks.

“Now, through the videos capturing the abuses against Haitians at the border, the world has now seen for itself that not all migrants seeking a better future are treated equally when the skin color is involved. “

Between 2018 and 2021, only 4.62% of Haitian asylum seekers were granted asylum from the United States – the lowest rate among 84 groups for which data is available. Asylum seekers from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, have an equally low rate of 5.11%.

In comparison, four of the top five American asylum seekers are from Latin American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Their acceptance rates range from 6.21% to 14.12%.

Nicole Phillips, legal director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said racism has long been the driving force behind the US government’s treatment of Haitian immigrants.

Phillips, whose organization is on the ground helping Haitians in Texas, says it dates back to the early 1800s, when Haitian slaves revolted and gained independence from France, and continued for decades. decades of American intervention and occupation in the small island nation.

She said the United States, threatened by the possibility of its own slaves revolting, both aided the French and did not recognize Haiti’s independence for nearly six decades. The United States also loaned Haiti money so that it could, in essence, buy its independence, collecting interest while plunging the country into poverty for decades.

“This mentality and stigma against Haitians goes back to that time,” Phillips said.

The United States violently occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and supported former Haitian dictator François Duvalier, whose oppressive regime left 30,000 dead and forced thousands to flee.

While the United States has long treated Cubans with compassion – largely because of its opposition to the Communist regime – the administrations of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton have taken a hard line on Haitians. And the Trump administration ended temporary protection status for several nationalities, including Haitians and Central Americans.

Time and time again, the United States has passed immigration legislation that excluded black immigrants and Haitians, and promoted policies that unfairly undermined their legal status in the country, advocates said.

When they do manage to enter the United States, black immigrants say they face systemic racism in the American criminal justice system and American police brutality that is endemic for people across the African Diaspora.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a national racial justice and immigrant rights group, largely defines black immigrants as people from countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Based on this definition, AP’s analysis of 2019 Department of Homeland Security data found that 66% of black immigrants deported from the United States were returned on criminal grounds, compared to 43% of all immigrants.

BAJI executive director Nana Gyamfi said crimes of moral turpitude, including theft or turnstile hopping, were used as partial justification for denying legal status to black immigrants. “We have people who are being kicked out because of train tickets,” she said.

Leaders of the Movement for Black Lives, a national coalition of black-led racial justice and civil rights organizations, have highlighted the treatment of Haitians at the border as a rationale for their broader demands for funding from humanitarian organizations. law enforcement in the United States.

Last year, following the murder of George Floyd, the coalition proposed sweeping federal legislation known as the BREATHE Act, which includes calls to end immigration detention, stop deportations due to contacts with the criminal justice system and to ensure due process within the immigration justice system. .

“Often in the immigration debate, black people are erased and black immigrants are erased from the conversation,” said Amara Enyia, policy researcher for the Black Lives Movement.

Ahead of a visit to the Texas migrant camp on Thursday, civil rights leaders called for an investigation into the treatment of black migrants at the border and an immediate end to the deportation of black asylum seekers.

The camp is “a catastrophic and human disgrace,” Reverend Al Sharpton said after an hour-long tour with several black American leaders in Del Rio. “We will continue to come back, as long as necessary. “

At the border and in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where hundreds of people had previously been sent on flights from the United States, Haitians said there was no doubt race played a role. major in their mistreatment.

“They catch people, they disturb us, especially Haitians because they identify us by skin,” said Jean Claudio Charles who, with his wife and one-year-old son, had stayed in a camp on the Mexican side. near Texas for fear of arrest and deportation to Haiti.

Claude Magnolie, a Haitian citizen deported from the United States this week, said he had not seen border patrol officers treating migrants of other nationalities like him and others were treated: “C ‘ is discrimination, that’s what I call it, they treat us very badly. “

And in Miami, immigrant rights advocate Francesca Menes couldn’t believe her eyes as she watched images of asylum seekers surrounded by men on horseback.

“My family is under this bridge,” Menes said, referring to a cousin, his wife and their newborn baby who recently met in a small town on the Texas border. It took Menes’ cousin two months to make the trip from Chile, where he had lived with his brothers for three years, to escape the political turmoil, violence and devastation in Haiti.

“It made me sick,” Menes said. “This did not happen with unaccompanied minors. You did not see people riding horses, essentially herding people together as if they were cattle, as if they were animals. . “

Menes’ outrage only grew, as did his fears for his family. When she overheard her mother on the phone with family members this week, Menes said she wanted nothing more than to tell them to return to Chile.

“We actually tried to discourage our families,” she said. “People are looking for a better life. And we kind of try to anchor our families: do you know what it means to be black in America?

____

AP staff members Maria Verza in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Fernando Gonzalez in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jasen Lo in Chicago, and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed. Morrison reported from New York. Galvan reported from Phoenix. Both are members of the AP Race and Ethnicity team. Follow Galvan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/astridgalvan. Follow Morrison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.



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Charter committee chairman Darrick Dansby wants the party to be a force again

I wrote about the Greater Cincinnati Charter Committee for about 40 of its 97 years of existence; and, after all these years, the Chartists get cranky when I call them in the print media a “political party”.

Charter is, of course, the organization founded in 1924 to bring down decades of incompetent and corrupt government by political bosses and into the era of the board-manager form of government. The council-manager form of government, beaten and besieged as it is, exists to this day.

The Chartists prefer this rather long title to be called a political party: An independent political organization dedicated to good government.

In my mind, a political organization that has supported and promoted lists of candidates for Cincinnati City Council – and sometimes for other offices – is a political party, but they are, of course, free to call themselves what they are. wish.

Over the years, the fortune of the Charter Committee has increased and decreased on several occasions. But, in 2021, his leadership sees an opportunity to reestablish itself as a major presence at city hall – mainly due to scandals and indictments that have given city council a reputation as a breeding ground for corruption.

This year, under the leadership of a new president, Darrick Dansby, Charter is diversifying.

So far in this municipal election season, Charter has:

  • backed a candidate in a three-person race for an unexpired term in Hamilton County Municipal Court;
  • speak out against number 3, the gigantic eight-part, all-or-nothing Charter amendment that would bring about serious changes in the way city council works;
  • endorsed a very diverse slate of eight council candidates, in a difficult situation where Democratic candidates were told they could not agree to a Charter cross-endorsement.

With only one current board member vying this year who has been elected before – Democrat Greg Landsman – there are plenty of breakthrough opportunities for the massive field of 35 candidates.

Charter, it seems, is in a good position to win a few seats on the new nine-member city council.

The Charter list includes:

  • Two former charter board members to Jim Tarbell and Kevin Flynn, both recognized throughout town.
  • Two Republicans – Steve Goodin and Liz Keating – who were appointed to council seats when the indicted council members stepped down.
  • And four first-time contenders – Jackie Frondorf, whose family is well known in Westwood, the city’s largest neighborhood; Bill Frost, originally from England and an engineer who served as chairman of the Pleasant Ridge Community Council; Galen G. Gordon, an activist from the West End who is the sales manager at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Downtown; and John J. Williams, a lawyer who spent the first 12 years of his career in the city’s notary’s office.

“It’s a good, diverse slate,” Dansby said.

Election of board members is the top priority, but Dansby said the charter committee is very concerned about question 3 and is calling for a “no” vote on all of the charter changes proposed by the rep. state Tom Brinkman, who is also a Republican candidate for council. .

Number 3 would make drastic changes in the way the board does business. This would do:

  • ensure that the salaries of council members are equal to the median household income in the city. This would mean a drop in salary from $ 65,000 per year to about $ 46,000;
  • require council approval of all lawsuits brought by the city;
  • the designated replacement, which has been used to fill vacant board positions since the 1920s, whereby board members choose one or more other board members to choose their replacement, is said to have disappeared;
  • if a board member resigns or otherwise leaves the board, their place will go to 10e place finisher in the last council campaign;
  • eliminate the “pocket veto” of the mayor, where the mayor can choose never to put an item on the council’s agenda or even assign it to a committee;
  • require a one-year residency in the city to serve as mayor or council member;
  • allow individual liability of city employees for certain violations of public meetings and violations of the law on public documents;
  • allow the mayor’s dismissal.

When I spoke to Dansby about it, he did not specifically say whether there were any sections of the Charter amendment with which he and the Charter Committee disagreed.

“It’s not about the problems, it’s about the process,” Dansby said. “It was developed without any input from the community, without any public discussion of the issues.

“It’s a very dangerous thing to have so many amendments in one ballot,” Dansby said. “This is not the way it should be done. Voters should not be forced to vote all or nothing. I cannot support eight major charter changes in one fell swoop.”

Dansby said he believed it all had to do with Brinkman, who gathered more than 4,600 signatures from Cincinnati voters to put number 3 on the ballot.

“It’s just a move by Mr. Brinkman to advance his own candidacy,” Dansby said. “And I don’t like to hear him call him ‘the Brinkman Amendment.’ I don’t want to advertise him. Just call him what he is – Number 3.”

The Hamilton County Republican Party Executive Committee approved Question 3. The Hamilton County Democratic Party has taken no formal action, but party leaders are clearly opposed, as a number of Prominent local Democrats have gone to the Ohio Supreme Court in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the number 3 from being put on the ballot.

Dansby said he was not sure how his approved board candidates were presenting themselves at No. 3.

“We allow our candidates to have their own perspective on the issues,” Dansby said.

This is certainly not the first time that the Charter Committee has taken a stand for or against a ballot issue, but if you combine that with their rather impressive roster of council candidates and the fact that they are involved in a Race to the municipal court, we are definitely seeing a version of the Charter much more aggressive than it has been in recent years.

Last week, Charter lent her support to Elizabeth A. Tye, a North Avondale attorney who worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, for the remaining term in District 2 of the City Court of Hamilton County.

Tye has two opponents in the race – incumbent Republican Bertha Garcia Helmick, who was appointed to the vacant municipal court post in April, and attorney Donte Johnson, the Democratic Party-backed candidate for Hamilton County. Tye is also a Democrat, but Johnson has won party support.

Dansby said Tye “has an incredible amount of experience in the legal system and, for Charter, was clearly the best choice of the three. He’s a dynamic person.”

The new chairman of Charter, a real estate agent involved with Charter for seven years, said he “focuses on bringing young people to Charter; and people who don’t necessarily just vote for a party line. We need to diversify our base and reach the 52 neighborhoods. “

Dansby itself represents something new for Charter.

Throughout its history, Charter has consistently led and supported the Black Cincinnatians – from Ted Berry and Marian Spencer to Tyrone Yates and Yvette Simpson.

But, in 97 years of existence, Charter never had an African-American president until Dansby arrived earlier this year.

“The history of this organization has been great,” said Dansby. “And I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

Already, the new president of Charter is signaling his presence. The Charter is once again a force in city politics.

Don’t call it a political party.


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Coaches share 1990s history

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ORCHARD PARK – Washington head coach Ron Rivera wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do when his playing career with the Chicago Bears ended in 1992.

Knowing that, Rivera’s former Bears teammate Leslie Frazier, now the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator, presented an option.

“When I was a head coach at a very small school in Chicago (Trinity International University) and Ron was trying to figure out what he wanted to do after he was done playing, I said, ‘Come on. join my team, man, you’d be a really good coach, ”Frazier recalls. “He didn’t want to coach at the time, he wanted to get into other things.”

This paddling was in the media, and Rivera worked as an analyst for WGN-TV of Chicago and also for SportsChannel Chicago covering the Bears and college football for about four years. However, in the back of his mind were the words of his former Bears teammate – with whom he won a Super Bowl after the 1985 season – that he would be a good coach, and he finally acted.

“I have a lot of history with him,” Rivera said of Frazier.

Rivera went to the Bears before the 1997 season and head coach Dave Wannstedt offered him a low-level defensive quality control position. in Washington.

“His wife (Stephanie), in fact, ended up coming to the school I was in and was the assistant basketball coach, and then eventually Ron went to do some quality control work with the Bears.” , said Frazier.

“Next thing you know, we’re both in Philadelphia as assistant coaches and I said to him, ‘Didn’t I try to tell you that you were a coach, man, and someday you’ll be head coach and a good coach? ‘ He said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I remember you telling me about it.’ So now, whenever we have the opportunity to speak, I remind him, that he owes me leftovers for hiring him in this profession, that’s for sure.

Rivera, of course, also has a close connection to Bills head coach Sean McDermott. McDermott was also on the Eagles staff under Andy Reid, and when Reid fired him after the 2010 season, Rivera – who was hired as the Carolina head coach in 2011 – brought in McDermott to be his defensive coordinator.

They worked together until 2017, when McDermott was hired by the Bills, and the two remain close, but not on Sunday when they meet for the second time as head coaches when the football team will invade Highmark Stadium.

“It started with Andy,” Rivera said. “I mean, it all goes back to 1999, because all of us – Sean and I and Leslie Frazier and the guys who on this team we all started with Andy; we all learned from him. And so a lot of the things we do are very similar. Because it is a plan, it has proven to be effective. Remember, Andy started in Green Bay and those Green Bay roots. We’re going back to San Francisco, and to San Francisco under Bill Walsh. So it’s just kind of an extension of what that tree was.

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The Rivera Panthers beat the McDermott Bills 9-3 in what was only Game 2 of McDermott’s tenure with Buffalo in 2017, and they haven’t met since.

“Ron has been one of my biggest mentors in this business,” McDermott said. “He taught me a lot. Going to Carolina, I learned a lot during those six years under Ron’s tutelage and tutelage both as a head coach and from a defensive standpoint.

“Our ties go all the way back to Philadelphia, of course. So he taught me a lot about the linebacker when I was his QC and also worked with linebackers. And then just with regard to Ron being on the other side, I have enormous respect for Ron.

Logan Thomas makes a comeback

The Bills had the athletic 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight wing in their building for nearly three seasons, but they never unlocked his potential to play the position and continued to play free agent acquisition. high priced Charles Clay.

Thomas played 24 games in 2017 and 2018, playing most of the time on special teams, and he made just 19 catches for 144 yards. He then went to Detroit before landing with Washington in 2020, and that’s when it happened for Thomas.

The football team let him go and he caught 72 passes for 670 yards and 6 touchdowns as he became one of the main weapons in attack. This year he has eight catches for 75 yards and one scoring.

“Always great to watch,” said Bills coach Sean McDermott. “We hope the players play their best football here, and I think most of them have. But in this case, we wish Logan good luck and he did a great job. Credit to him, credit to their staff. He seems to be playing his best football. And I’m happy for him. He is a great person, a great family and a guy with a high character, so happy for him, really proud of him.

A guy who wishes Thomas was still in Buffalo? Josh Allen.

“I miss him,” Allen said. “I actually talk to him a little bit more and it’s great to see what he has done. He made some amazing plays and when he was here you saw guys like that who are big, fast and ultimately smart, these guys usually find a way to stay in this league. Not only does he stick around, but he’s sort of billed himself as one of the best tight ends in this league and one of the best guys too.

Matt Milano was everywhere in Miami

Of all the things the Bills did in the offseason to polish the roster for a Super Bowl run, re-signing linebacker Matt Milano was perhaps GM Brandon Beane’s biggest decision.

Milano was an unrestricted free agent and could have signed anywhere, and probably had options, but he wanted to stay at Buffalo because he enjoys it here and believes in the culture and vision of the organization.

Beane moved on from the fact that Milano struggled to stay healthy in his first four years and focused on the fact that when he’s right he’s one of the best outside linebackers in the league. .

Milano was fantastic last week in Miami as he recorded a record seven presses according to Pro Football Focus, one of which resulted in a sack. And as always, he was a sure tackle (he only missed one tackle in two games) and was reliable on his cover shots.

“How active he was,” Frazier said when asked what stood out from the film. “I mean, he won almost every time he faced their running backs in protection. He also won his battles in passing coverage. He was everywhere at the same time. Very active and disruptive. I had a very good game. “

Dawson Knox has had a busy day

With the Bills playing 70% of their offensive snaps in Miami in 11 people (three wide, a tight end and a back), Knox has played 83% of the snaps overall, more than any other skill position player besides Josh Allen. .

He was only targeted three times and caught two passes for 17 yards, but one of them was a slippery pass from an eight-yard TD early in the third quarter that helped the Bills master the game firmly. Additionally, Knox delivered a great block that helped Devin Singletary pitch his 46-yard TD in Buffalo’s game two of the game.

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said Knox’s number of snaps was mainly due to the game plan, but added, “We have a lot of confidence in Dawson. He played a lot of plays for us. (Sunday) we had, I would say, a variety of staff groups, probably a little more than what we’ve had in the past before this game. And most of them involved the tight end of this game. He’s our tight end we’re looking to, so he’s had a lot of reps.

Of course, that also meant that with the Bills going four or five wide in just four plays, Gabriel Davis was largely knocked out. He was on the pitch for just 22 shots and was never targeted.

Bills OG Jack Anderson claimed by the Eagles

The Bills lost their seventh-round pick guard Jack Anderson on Tuesday when he was pulled from the practice squad by the Eagles.

Teams can protect two players per week in their practice squad, but they can only do so on Tuesday afternoon. Therefore, all players are eligible to be selected before that and the Eagles have stepped in. Anderson had been protected for the first two weeks. To replace him, the Bills re-signed OT Bobby Hart who they cut after training camp.

Anderson was a work in progress and it probably would have been the equivalent of a red shirt year for him in the NFL had he stayed in Buffalo. Because the Eagles have claimed him, he has to be on their 53-man roster, but if he were to be demoted to their training squad, the Bills, if they wanted to, could bring him back.

Sal Maiorana can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.


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Russia fears Belarus from Belarus

The white-red-white colors of the historic Belarusian national flag have been adopted by the country’s pro-democracy opposition since the anti-regime protests began in August 2020 (Artur Widak / NurPhoto via REUTERS)

A specter haunts Belarus. He is not a brutal autocrat who oppresses his own people, flouts international law and threatens the country’s neighbors. Nor is it the international isolation of Belarus or the rapid collapse of the country’s economy. At least not if you read Russian media.

According to a growing number of pro-Kremlin commentators, the specter haunting Belarus is the threat of “Belarus”, that is, the promotion of Belarusian language, history and culture.

In a recent long essay for APN, a Kremlin-related publication with a nationalist bent, political commentator Sergei Shiyenko argued that, like Ukraine before it, Belarus is trying to “synthesize a new ethnicity and a national statehood project on an anti-Russian basis”.

According to Shiyenko, “Belarus is the cornerstone of the concept of creating a new nation from an isolated part of the Russian people under a state that was accidentally created at the beginning of the 20th century. Without Belarus, nation building will come to a standstill, the “Republic of Belarus” will lose its meaning. “

It was not an isolated reference. A recent information in APN called Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya a “defender of Belarus”, noting that she “was in favor of expanding the use and popularization of Belarusian language and culture” .

Elsewhere, an article in Rubaltic.ru claims the Francisak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society, a civic organization established in 1989, sought “forced Belarus from all spheres of public life, including the education system”. And in an essay by Regnum, commentator Sergei Atyemenko Noted that Alyaksandr Lukashenka came to power in 1994 promising “the end of criminal and violent Belarus” of the country.

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These increasingly frequent references to Belarus share several common and historically inaccurate threads.

Just like the claims about Ukraine made by Vladimir Putin in his infamous July 2021 essay, the authors of these articles on Belarus generally argue, wrongly, that Belarus is indistinguishable from Russia. They also claim that, like Ukraine, Belarus is an artificial nation created during Soviet times. And they falsely claim that, like in Ukraine, Belarusians’ desire to be a sovereign nation with its own history, culture and language is driven by malicious and irrational “Russophobia”.

Given Russia’s growing military, economic and political footprint in Belarus, the stories about creeping Belarus may at first glance seem irrational. After all, Russia’s dominance over Belarus is arguably stronger than it ever was.

Russia and Belarus recently completed Zapad-2021 military exercises, the largest in Eastern Europe in four decades. This year, the two countries have also conducted a record number of joint military exercises, with constant rotations establishing a de facto permanent presence of Russian troops in Belarus. Moscow and Minsk are also in the process of establishment three joint training centers, including one in the Belarusian region of Hrodna, near the Polish and Lithuanian borders.

Economically, Belarus remains heavily dependent on Moscow, with its economy effectively supported by the import of heavily subsidized Russian oil and the export of refined petroleum products, as well as the export of potash fertilizers. Kremlin-linked tycoons, meanwhile, are expanding their presence in Belarus.

Politically, Lukashenka’s international isolation made him more dependent than ever on the Kremlin. And just to be sure, Putin’s regime is now actively put the pieces in place to ensure that Moscow controls the Belarusian legislature through pro-Kremlin parties.

Despite Russia’s unquestionably strong position in Belarus, the fears of pro-Kremlin commentators of Belarus are driven by trends in public opinion that show a deterioration in traditionally positive Belarusian attitudes towards Russia.

Based on a November 2020 report Chatham House Poll, 33.3% of Belarusians say integration with Russia would make Belarus more corrupt. Meanwhile, 39.4% say it would mean the end of the Belarusian state, and 45% say Belarusians can only improve their identity in a fully independent country.

Likewise, a survey carried out by the Center for Oriental Studies (OSW) based in Warsaw in late November and early December 2020 have shown that 43% of Belarusians see Russia as the greatest threat to Belarusian sovereignty and territorial integrity, the highest figure among any of the countries featured in the survey.

A clear reassessment of the country’s history and national identity is also underway. A growing part of the Belarusian public now looks at the European history of Belarus prior to its incorporation into the Russian Empire in 1796. In particular, they look to the centuries when present-day Belarus was part of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

From last year OSW survey, 62.2% of Belarusians think their country should be inspired by periods when they were not ruled by Russia, with 39.7% citing the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 6.3% identifying the Polish Commonwealth Lithuanian and 16.2% citing the People’s Republic of Belarus, the short-lived attempt to establish an independent state in 1918. Meanwhile, only 28 percent named the Soviet Union.

As the Kremlin tightens its grip on the Lukashenka regime, the Belarusian people are turning increasingly to the west. Seen from Moscow, it may look like an anti-Russian campaign by Belarus. But in reality, what we are witnessing is a European nation rediscovering itself. Like the Ukrainians before them, the Belarusians are continuing the break-up of the Soviet Union today.

Brian Whitmore is a Non-Resident Principal Investigator at the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Arlington, and host of The Power Vertical Podcast.

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