Mountain Mama: Charleston Marathon Recap

first_img“This sucks,” says a female with disgust. I glance around, trying to identify the body associated with the voice. I spot her over my left shoulder – a tall, lean runner, her blonde hair pulled back in a high ponytail.I study her, wondering what could possibly be wrong. The sun shines in a cloudless sky after a malaise of rainless grey-skied days, visibly buoying the spirits of the thousands of runners at the start of the Charleston Marathon (and the half, which is what I’m running).Her elbow digs into my rib as she darts ahead. I stare as she pushes and weaves her way through the pack of runners. She doesn’t apologize or glance backwards. She either doesn’t realize she’d bumped me. Or she doesn’t care.She’s too weighted down by expectations, glued to the device around her wrist telling her pace and heart rate, reminding her that she’s alive. She’s so determined to reach her goals that she’s missing out on what’s right in front of her – the race itself.I know because I’ve been that runner. I’ve pushed my way toward a PR so aggressively that I don’t recall many details of various races.Not today. I have no race plan, trusting myself that it will all work out. For once I run without music, wanting to hear the runners around me and participate. Without music there’s no barrier between my ears and complainers, like the woman who elbowed her way past me.It also means hearing all the kind words exchanged between runners, and all the encouragement from bystanders. The crowd tells us how great we look, making me pin my shoulders back and run a little taller. Turns out I’m quite a vain runner.Without music to distract me or a time goal taking all my focus, I spend a lot of time soaking up the views. We run by vistas of the bay, sunlight dancing on the water as paddle boarders glide by and leave a wake of glittering water-diamonds. Then we pass columned houses in salmon and mint green, flanked by rows of palm trees.The course veers around a corner and we’re running through a crowd of supporters, some holding signs. A cute twenty-something brunette holds a sign, “Why do the cute ones always run away?”Her friend holds one with fluorescent lettering, “Worst parade ever.”A nerdy looking male holds up a whiteboard that says, “Only inches to go.” Below he’s calculated exactly how many inches remain for the marathoners, who still have 18 miles ahead of them.The course turns down another road, spilling us out into an industrial wasteland, dilapidated warehouses and mounds of dirt. I run by mile marker eight and for the first time my legs feel heavy. My thoughts turn to anticipating the miles ahead and I’m nattering doubt to myself. Then I remind myself about joy. My body unclenches a little.The half marathon is made up of moments, and I am trying to pay attention to each one that comes my way. While forcing fun is an oxymoron, bounding ourselves with unpleasant thoughts guarantees we won’t experience joy. Engaging in the present allows us to be open and spontaneous and seize all the happy moments that come our way.Half8A man flies by me. A spectator calls out, “Top ten marathoner.” The half and full courses overlap for the next mile of the course. I gape at the speed at which his legs turn over, the pure grace of his body propelling him forward. I can’t see his face, he sped by so quickly, but he is beautiful and my heart flutters from witnessing his raw energy. Then another marathoner speeds past me. My own running feels light and effortless.The marathon course takes a turn and the half marathon continues the last couple miles toward the finish past a waterfront park. I drink up the scenery, the gradations of blue and green a relief on my eyes after the bleak miles behind me. I run with my eyes glued to the horizon. Some say staring at the horizon releases endorphins. Others swear that salt in the air cures ailments. Whatever it is, I’m feeling great.The crowds get thicker. Someone yells, “nice pace,” which gets me to wondering if there can be a “mean” pace. Thinking about the woman elbowing past me in oblivion, I decide there can be, it’s the pace that pushes us so hard that we stop noticing and caring about the world around us. I high-five everyone with a hand extended and thank them for coming out to support us, trying to exemplify what running a nice pace is all about.A friend sent me a text before the half, reminding me to smile at the finish, but he didn’t need to. A drummer beats loudly and the crowd cheers. It’s impossible to do anything else but smile. I stretch my arms out in victory.last_img read more

Revamped Vanderbilt Planetarium Educates and Illuminates

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]A [/dropcap]hundred thousand light years or a hundred yards, give or take a few, are all that separate the Milky Way Galaxy from a pair of Peruvian shrunken heads at the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport.The distance is relative, because it doesn’t take that much time to travel the space between the new, state-of-the-art Vanderbilt Planetarium, which just underwent a multi-million-dollar upgrade, and the eccentric collection of William K. Vanderbilt II, whose majestic mansion epitomizes the glory days from Long Island’s Gold Coast when American millionaires pursued their passions—both private and public—on their once-secluded North Shore estates.Surprisingly, few visitors to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum today make the connection at what was once his 43-acre Eagle’s Nest estate. They either come for the uplifting planetarium show—now greatly enhanced by the $3.2-million Konica Minolta GeminiStar III projector—or visit Vanderbilt’s Spanish Revival manor house with its marble bathtubs, medieval furniture, decorative arts and stunning views. Not to mention the Jivaro Indian tsantsas (shrunken heads)—their eyelids and mouths sewn shut—eerily silent in a glass display case in the Memorial Wing by the courtyard.“People come to the planetarium and they have no idea what’s on the other side of the wall,” says Lance Reinheimer, the museum’s interim executive director, during a recent Press special preview of the refurbished planetarium. “And, vice versa: People go to the mansion and have no idea what’s in here.”This spring centerport’s vanderbilt museum has a new star attraction: a state-of-the-art planetarium projector that can span the milky way in seconds. visitors will also want to stroll through vanderbilt’s spanish revival style mansion, the gold coast at its best. All photos courtesy of Vanderbilt Museum.Vanderbilt had a long relationship with Long Island. He began building the “bachelor” wing of his mansion in 1910 because he was then separated from his first wife and he completed it in 1936 after he was married to his second wife. In 1904, to promote sports-car racing in America, he had sponsored the Vanderbilt Cup—and spearheaded the creation of the Long Island Motor Parkway in 1908 (the museum pays homage to his love of the automobile, too).Tragically, his 26-year-old son, returning to New York from the family’s palatial Florida estate, died in a car crash in South Carolina in 1933 and the Memorial Wing was named in his honor.Over the years Willie K., as his friends called him, had assembled an eclectic collection of marine life, exotic insects, shrunken heads, an Egyptian mummy, dueling pistols, a 19th century surgical kit, a Nile crocodile, antelopes, a cobra, a tiger, a polar bear, a leopard, an ostrich and even a warthog, to name a few of the thousands of specimens. He also hired experts from the American Museum of Natural History to create the wildlife exhibits for his Diorama Hall, which he’d show to his weekend guests. Hanging menacingly overhead in the Habitat Room is an open-mouthed 32-foot whale shark caught off Fire Island in 1935, which was restored a few years ago thanks to matching grants from Save America’s Treasures and Suffolk County.Vanderbilt’s spanish style mansion, the gold coast at its best. (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Museum“We’re the stewards of his collection as he left it,” says Reinheimer. “It doesn’t give us a lot of latitude to move things around.” But, he adds, “We have the mummy in the mansion.”Vanderbilt, who died in 1944 at the age of 65, had kept the preserved body in his Marine Museum, separated from the mansion by his three-hole golf course (now just rolling grass lawn), because he thought it was “bad luck” to bring it inside his house. The 3,000-year-old Egyptian is one of the star attractions today at the museum, which Suffolk County acquired in 1950 after Robert Moses reportedly turned it down.The Vanderbilt family fortune had come from the New York Central Railroad and international shipping enterprises—Cornelius Vanderbilt was the precursor—and Willie K. circumnavigated the globe twice in his 264-foot custom-made yacht, the Alva, named after his mother, which fed his interest in celestial navigation. Inspired by the NASA moon landing in 1969, the museum board of trustees believed that a planetarium would be consistent with his vision and rededicated his tennis court to that purpose, although it wasn’t completed until 1971.“If Vanderbilt were alive today, this is where he would want to go!” remarks Reinheimer. Upgrading the planetarium is vital to ensuring the museum’s survivability, he explains, since it is the main revenue generator, drawing almost 60,000 school children annually. It’s not the only planetarium in the region, but in its scope and technical ability, the Vanderbilt rivals the Hayden Planetarium with its ultra-high-definition video, advanced computer system and ability to quickly upload the latest NASA imagery.“We’re one of the best planetariums in the country,” Reinheimer says.Weeks before the planetarium’s official reopening, workers were mounting shiny metal letters above the dome entrance that would eventually spell out “The William and Molly Rogers Theatre,” in honor of their generous donation that helped the project reach fruition. All told, considering the advanced equipment, the new plush seats and the redone lobby, the renovation will have cost the museum some $4 million.Only a few years ago, the museum was about to go dark for good. The stock market collapse had shrunken its endowment, which funded 53 percent of its operating budget. The rest came from programs, membership, site use (for weddings and the like), grants and donations.Suffolk County was also facing a serious shortfall. In January 2009, the museum payroll fell $35,000 short, and Carol Ghiorsi Hart, then the executive director, told The New York Times, “If we can’t raise that, we’ll have to shut down.”But with a combination of changing hours, cutbacks, fee hikes, budget austerity, legislative largesse through a hike in the county’s motel and hotel tax, and successful philanthropic fundraising, the night lights stayed on. And now the Vanderbilt Planetarium is entering the space age with a brighter future than ever before. The three-ton “star ball” projector can recede soundlessly into a central pit—where Vanderbilt once had the net on his tennis court—which allows for an array of special presentations that the previous design didn’t.The view outside the Vanderbilt Museum. (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Museum)Just as the planetarium has gone high-tech, some fans of its past are going to have to get with the times.“No more laser shows!” says Reinheimer, with a grin, referring to the site’s former hosting of projected galaxies choreographed to the music of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, among other classic rock acts. He insists that “they’re lame” compared to what this new system at the Vanderbilt can do.Dave Bush, the planetarium’s technical and production coordinator, and Lorraine Vernola, the assistant director of public planning, make the star ball work its magic inside the dome. Bush handles the Friday night live show, letting the audience learn what constellations and planets can be seen overhead. If the sky is clear, he’ll take them to a powerful 16-inch telescope housed nearby in its own observatory with a retractable roof so they can see for themselves. Vernola handles the educational programs, which can be tailored to the curricular needs, age-group and scientific aptitudes of school visitors.With the new star ball come new programs for children, adults and families, in conjunction with Sky-Skan, a specialized producer in this area, and planetariums in Britain, China and the United States. During our preview we sampled three trailers. One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure, a Sesame Street production featuring Big Bird, Elmo and his friends, is geared to the pre-kindergarten set. Solar System Odyssey is modeled more like a video game adventure for middle school kids (“Hang onto your breakfast!” a space commander tells his teenage companion). Families and adults are the target audience for Stars, which is narrated by Mark Hamill and accompanied by the Nashville Symphony. With body-slamming sound and breathtaking special effects, it depicts the fiery birth and light-snuffing death of these vital celestial bodies.Exploring what the new GeminiStar III can do has been exciting for Bush because the old projector was 42 years old.“The whole universe is in this system!” he says. “Just working with all of this stuff time flies—it’s easy to get lost in this.”With the dome darkened, we sat back as Bush took us on a quick spin around the solar system, pointing out where Pluto, the “king of the dwarf planets,” crosses Neptune’s orbit—a planetary “no-no” in astronomical circles—and then, just like that, he zoomed out to the far reaches of the Milky Way, which is 100,000 light years across, reducing our sun to a shiny speck in one of the galaxy’s spiral stellar arms.At the touch of a button he can send the stars swirling, heads spinning and stomachs reeling. He admits he used to get vertigo himself but he’s been doing this for more than 13 years so, not unlike a sailor at sea, he says, “You get dome legs!”On tap for the Vanderbilt are a summer Shakespeare festival, a clam bake, concerts, children’s theatre, and a classic-car show. So the museum is making a big push to appeal to new generations of visitors willing to space out through the solar system and beyond—or take a look back at the opulent lifestyle and interests of one of Long Island’s most curious millionaires.The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is at 180 Little Neck Rd., just a couple of miles north of the Centerport Fire Department off 25A. The new planetarium, which formally re-opened to the public on March 15, is operating its winter-spring schedule from now until June 16, featuring two shows on Friday evening, at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon. For more information call 631-854-5579 or visit read more

Three negative first impressions your website can help avoid

first_img continue reading » If your credit union or bank’s website were a dating profile, what first impression would you be giving prospects?Are you the hip, attractive guy who runs five miles a day with his golden retriever, or are you the disheveled old guy with a broken tooth?First impressions are everything…in dating and in banking.Here are three negative first impressions a good website can help your credit union or bank avoid.SlowA slow website immediately tells consumers, “These people can’t meet my needs when I need them to be met.” If your website has a long load time, then consumers—regardless of whether they’re already your member or customer—will get impatient and simply go somewhere else for what they need. No one likes a date that shows up an hour late. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Cracking the code on executive recruiting

first_imgI was clueless the first time I spoke to an executive recruiter.In my mid-20s, I was fortunate to have a job that connected me well to industry leaders. When a recruiter called to ask if I knew anyone who would be a great fit as the President/CEO of a trade association based in my home state, I assumed he was calling for a referral. I rattled off a few names before he stopped me: Listen. You’ve never worked with a recruiter before, have you? I’m calling to ask if you would consider applying.I laughed out loud. My demographics did not match what I thought he was looking for.While he acknowledged that I might not seem like a perfect match, he liked what he had heard and encouraged me to apply. He shepherded me through the experience, offering guidance about the process, the expectations, the members of the Board, and the qualities they were seeking. His commitment to his client was to uncover the best talent available, and he knew the only way to do that was to get to know—and help tell—the story of every candidate. At the conclusion of that search, even though I was not chosen for that job, I was confident that I had presented well as a candidate.The next time I applied for a position with an executive recruiter, I did not get a call back.I didn’t the next time either.In fact, when I was ultimately hired as a first-time CEO, I had initially been excluded from the candidate pool. It was only after I mentioned my interest to someone on the search committee that I was considered, and only then because she demanded it. This was a frustrating experience for my eventual employer who had not been happy with the candidates initially presented. When they had asked about the lack of diversity, they were told they had been presented all qualified candidates the recruiter had reviewed. In this case, it was not that I was unqualified; it was that the recruiter had not looked at my application.What was the difference in these starkly contrasting experiences? Had some mysterious algorithm locked me out of some searches, but let me into others?The executive search experience can be frustrating for both candidates and hiring managers. Traditional search methods often lead to homogenous candidate pools that leave organizations wondering where the rest of the talent is and candidates uncertain if their applications were ever received.While emerging technology has opened channels that allow for much wider reach, it has also depersonalized many elements of the job search. Some recruitment processes have struggled to strike the balance needed to maintain the human connection with the increasing number of candidates that technology brings. Overwhelmed with resumes, recruiters may slip into the habit of seeking the familiar: Candidates they know, who they have previously placed, or who have been referred directly. Exclusion from searches does not always stem from a systematically biased algorithm, but the persistent human bias of “in-group promotion.” Consideration comes down to who you know and who knows you, not progressing much beyond directly inviting people we know to apply for open positions. This method might seem safe, but often results in teams of individuals with similar backgrounds and ways of thinking, limiting the team’s capacity for innovation and deep understanding of diverse member groups.If your organization is committed to attracting diverse talent and perspectives that will drive your organization forward, consider these four items before you kick off your recruitment process:Set an intention for direct recruiting:It is still true that most people find jobs because of who they know. It is also true that humans tend to know people like themselves. Therefore, when your recruiter invites contacts to apply for a position, there is a likelihood that these candidates may be very similar to one another. Ensure your approach to direct recruitment goes beyond one individual’s network and is intentionally inclusive of broad demographics and backgrounds.Consider where to post your position:Using typical social media channels and inside-the-industry advertising sources will lead to a full talent pool with a high number of applicants. This pool may not reflect the community you serve and may not bring in talent outside a more traditional bubble, though. If your organization is committed to vetting a talent pool that is likely to understand your community and your members, your recruiter should expand his or her search efforts beyond industry channels to reach into your specific community, too.Be consistent with internal candidates: Organizations do not always know the full story of the latent talent already on staff, missing opportunities to promote well-qualified individuals. Long-time employees may end up with fewer opportunities for growth when assumptions are made about their skills, strengths, and ambitions. This is why many talented executives wonder if the only way to move up is to move out of an organization. Strategically recruit within your organization for promotions and new positions, at least as much as you would externally. The talent you already have on staff may surprise and delight you—and it comes with institutional knowledge!Refine your requirements: One of the most common ways organizations inadvertently perpetuate homogeny in leadership is by assuming that the experience, traits, and background held by a successful incumbent should be replicated. When defining the ideal candidate profile, scrutinize why something is included as a necessary qualification. Must your CEO be a CPA when accounting and finance functions are delegated? Is there a correlation between holding a Master’s Degree and being a successful VP-Lending? Be careful, too, about the years of experience you require. If, for example, you want to hire a Chief Digital Officer with 10-15 years of experience in mobile banking, you will have a limited pool: The iPhone was not invented until 2007 and mobile banking was not ubiquitous until after that pivotal event. Engage in strategic conversations about what it really takes for a candidate to be successful in carrying out the objectives of a specific role, then remove any non-essential requirements from the job posting.As unemployment remains historically low, the freelance economy attracts talented professionals seeking flexible options, and human capital remains the most important way credit unions can differentiate, the stakes have never been higher in the war for talent. Be sure your executive search processes are designed to attract and include the best of who is available.In October 2019, O’Rourke and Associates became a division of Humanidei. This progressive change was made to reinvent the gold standard of executive recruiting in the credit union space, recognizing that organizations won’t be successful in attracting today’s talent with yesterday’s techniques. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jill Nowacki Jill Nowacki started her career with credit unions in 2001. She has taken on leadership roles at credit unions and state and national trade associations. Now, she uses her experience … Web: Detailslast_img read more

New leadership for Nobu Ibiza Bay | News

first_imgUpon appointment, he has been tasked with overseeing the wrap up of the 2020 season and will be spearheading the success of the 2021 season that will see Nobu Ibiza Bay continue to grow its reputation among an international audience.  Kramer said: “I look forward to working with this incredible team, of which many have been with Nobu Ibiza Bay since opening in 2017, to take this fabulous resort to new heights. “We will focus on further refining the details that differentiate great hotels and hospitality businesses, service and engagement. – Advertisement – NewerAustrian Airlines expands ÖBB rail partnership – Advertisement – “There is a unique spirit at the resort, with many loyal repeat guests each year, and we will be working this winter on creating an even stronger programme of activations for the 2021 season across our offering of wellness, rooms, restaurants and bars.”Opening its doors in June 2017, Nobu Hotel Ibiza offers 152 designer rooms, 90 of which are suites and outstanding facilities that include the Ibiza Bay Spa by Six Senses, a hair salon by John Frieda, the El Almacen boutique and three restaurants. Nobu Ibiza Bay has appointed Edwin Kramer to the position of general manager with the resort. He joins from Barcelona Edition, where he led the team as general manager for its launch in 2018. – Advertisement – OlderInnside Newcastle to welcome first guests next month Kramer has been instrumental in four hotel openings, including the London Edition prior to moving to Barcelona. A seasoned hotelier, he brings a wealth of 25 years of international luxury and lifestyle hotel experience in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, in both urban and resort hotels.  Kramer also held various food and beverage leadership roles for Campbell Gray Hotels, Four Seasons and Hyatt Regency.  – Advertisement –last_img read more

Japan virus cases surge over 10,000 with hospitals stretched

first_imgSpeaking at a press briefing on Monday, Iwata said Japan’s strategy of limited testing and intensive contact-tracing worked well in the initial phase of the local outbreak, when numbers were small.But he charged that Japan failed to adapt as the outbreak grew.”We needed to prepare for once the situation changes, once the cluster-chasing became not effective and we needed to change strategy immediately,” he said.”But traditionally speaking, and historically speaking, Japan is not very good at changing strategy,” he added.”We are very poor at even thinking of plan B because thinking of plan B is a sign of admitting failure of plan A.” Japanese medics are warning more must be done to prevent the coronavirus from overwhelming the country’s healthcare system as confirmed cases passed 10,000, despite a nationwide state of emergency.Experts have been alarmed by a recent spike in COVID-19 infections, with hundreds detected daily.Japan’s outbreak remains less severe than in hard-hit European countries, but its caseload is one of Asia’s highest after China and India, and is roughly on par with South Korea. There have been 171 deaths recorded so far in Japan and 10,751 cases, with the country under a month-long state of emergency, initially covering seven regions but now in place nationwide.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged residents to reduce contact with other people by 70 to 80 percent, and the number of people on Tokyo’s normally packed transport system has dropped significantly.But the measures do not prevent people from going out, and many shops and even restaurants remain open, even as medical associations warn the country’s healthcare system is struggling to cope.”The system is on the verge of collapse in many places in Japan,” said Kentaro Iwata, an infectious diseases specialist from Kobe University who has repeatedly criticized the government’s response to the crisis. Not a ‘worst-case scenario’ Japan’s government argues it has adjusted its strategy, boosting testing capacity, changing rules that required all positive cases to remain in hospitals where wards quickly became full, and imposing the state of emergency to reduce the spread.But medical experts have called the measures insufficient.”Beds for novel coronavirus patients continue to be almost full,” Haruo Ozaki, president of the Tokyo Medical Association, warned last week.The association has been increasing beds but with a large number of new cases coming in every day, “beds are being occupied instantly,” he said.The health minister has acknowledged that hospitals have in some cases turned away suspected coronavirus patients in ambulances.”Japan hasn’t built a system in which ordinary hospitals can take infectious disease patients in an emergency, when designated hospitals can’t cope,” Ozaki said on Friday.”We are doing our best… but infections are spreading faster than expected,” he added.And hospitals are also struggling with equipment shortages, with the mayor of Osaka calling for donations of unused raincoats for health workers currently forced to use garbage bags for protective equipment.Both Iwata and Ozaki warned that the state of emergency now in place until at least May 6 was not sufficient.”While they talk about border controls and decreasing person-to-person contacts, they let stores stay open,” Ozaki complained.Iwata said he was “half-encouraged and half-discouraged” by the infection numbers in Tokyo, which he called “relatively stable.” “My biggest fear was the explosion of diagnoses… like in New York City, which didn’t happen,” he said.”These numbers are much better than the worst-case scenario.” Topics :last_img read more

New fund category to boost Swiss marketplace moves a step closer

first_img“Obtaining product approval is such a time-consuming and costly process that many Swiss qualified investors have up to now tended to favour foreign collective investment schemes over their Swiss counterparts,” he said.“The L-QIF, an innovative and original Swiss concept, is designed to change this.”   Finma’s head office in BernAccording to Sfama, the new type of fund would be subject to indirect supervision, in that the asset manager offering an L-QIF would need to be supervised by Finma, the financial markets regulator, even though the fund would not need prior authorisation.L-QIFs would be reserved exclusively for qualified investors such as pension funds or financial intermediaries. Both open-ended and closed-ended collective investment schemes could be set up as L-QIFs.The Swiss government indicated the funds would be subject to “liberal and yet transparent investment rules”.  The consultation is open until 17 October. It comes just over a year after the cabinet instructed the federal finance department to draw up draft amendments to the collective investment schemes legislation. According to Sfama, there is widespread support in parliament for the L-QIF project. The Swiss government has opened a consultation on the introduction of a category of fund that could be offered without prior regulatory approval, following through with a project to make Switzerland a more attractive fund domicile. The federal council said its consultation was a response to “a concern of the financial sector”.The concept of a fund that does not require prior authorisation was originally an idea from the Swiss asset management association, Sfama, which said the project to introduce a ‘Limited Qualified Investor Fund’ (L-QIF) “has got up and running quickly by Swiss standards”.Markus Fuchs, the association’s managing director, said Switzerland was at an unfair disadvantage as a fund domicile.last_img read more

Hong Kong legislature suspended amid chaos

first_imgIt was the second day of chaos in HongKong’s Legislative Council as leader Carrie Lam tried to answer questions abouther annual policy address on Wednesday. HONG KONG – Pro-democracy lawmakers inHong Kong heckled the city’s embattled leader and called for her to step downduring a legislative session on Thursday.    The turmoil underscored the deepening political rift in the city to the often violent anti-government protests that began in opposition to an extradition bill. (Reuters)center_img A lawmaker (top) shouts at Chief Executive Carrie Lam as she leaves the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China on Oct. 17. REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOONlast_img read more

Wenger gunning for top quality

first_img Chief executive Ivan Gazidis may have talked up the Gunners’ new ”financial firepower” at the end of the last campaign – another which ended without any silverware – but so far the only confirmed signing has been France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo – on a free transfer from Auxerre. Arsenal failed to push through a deal for Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain earlier in the summer, and Bayern Munich’s Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo has joined Wolfsburg. While the Gunners continue to pursue Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, the bid would have to be considerably closer to £50million to kickstart negotiations, and with the player back in training with the Reds it appeared a reconciliation had taken place with manager Brendan Rodgers. Lille winger Florian Thauvin is another said to be on Wenger’s radar, as is Romania forward Ciprian Marica following his release by Schalke. Gunners manager Wenger insists it is top quality, not just quantity, which his squad needs for the challenges ahead. “You certainly heard that we are not scared to spend money, but we want the right players,” said Wenger, who confirmed midfielder Mikel Arteta was set for an extended spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury and will miss the Premier League opener against Aston Villa. “At us, Chelsea and Man United, it is difficult to find the quality players to strengthen the team and the squad who are available at the moment, but there are a shortage of top, top, top players who are available. “We look more for quality than for numbers. The first request is to have the quality to play for Arsenal Football Club. Yes, we would like two or three players, if possible more, but we will not compromise on the quality of the players. “I understand every frustration, you have so many frustrated people, but what is important is the quality of what you do on the pitch, so let’s not create a crisis from nothing.” Arteta was one of several deadline-day signings in August 2011, along with German defender Per Mertesacker, who will captain the team on Saturday with Thomas Vermaelen still out because of a stress fracture in his back. While those late moves, which also saw Yossi Benayoun arrive on loan from Chelsea, worked out, Brazilian Andre Santos and South Korean Park Chu-young failed to make an impact. Wenger, though, insisted there would be no last-minute trolley dash this time around, with the transfer window set to finally close on September 2. He said: “The situation is completely different, because a couple of seasons ago we lost two or three players in one game and we had no other option than to buy. “It is maybe more difficult nowadays because there are more quality spenders on the market, especially in France, they have come on the market as well and bought at a very high level, so it is difficult.” Following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League. The Frenchman, 63, feels this season’s championship could be one of the most open, arguing six teams were good enough to mount a challenge. He said: “You have to consider all the teams that made over 70 points last year have a chance. That’s a benchmark for me – 70 points. “If you make 70 points, it means that there is not a lot of difference between you and the (team that finishes) first.” The full extent of Arteta’s problem is still to be diagnosed, but Wenger did at least receive a boost regarding the fitness of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey. Walcott limped out of England’s 3-2 friendly win over Scotland with a knee injury while Ramsey did not feature for Wales at home to the Republic of Ireland due to an ankle problem. “It could be as long (as six weeks for Arteta), but honestly we don’t know yet. We have to check the severity with the doctor,” Wenger said. Given Wenger has also jettisoned several fringe players this summer to free up the wage bill, Arsenal could find themselves somewhat stretched in terms of numbers ahead of their crucial Champions League play-off against Fenerbahce. “I don’t disagree that we are a bit light at the moment,” the Arsenal boss added. “There are 18 days to go until the end of the transfer market and we are of course looking to strengthen our squad.” Arsene Wenger will not compromise on quality as he looks to bring only “top, top, top players” to Arsenal for the new season. Press Associationlast_img read more

SIS extends German Tote partnership

first_img SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Submit Related Articles Racing content and data services provider Sports Information Services (SIS) has confirmed that it has added a multi-year extension to its existing rights agreement with the German Tote.The extended partnership will allow SIS to include coverage of German horseracing across all of its verticals, including retail and digital 24/7 channels, and to be sold as standalone content on a watch and bet or bet and watch basis for digital use.Paul Witten, Product Director at SIS, commented: “We are delighted to extend our relationship more deeply with the German Tote for inclusion of their high-quality racing in all our services.“This content sits very well within our overall portfolio, and its availability in the near future is sure to fill a significant gap for operators seeking betting content to fill any void whilst domestic racing is still in lockdown.”It comes after the German government has relaxed some restrictions across the country following the COVID-19 lockdown. It has been suggested that German horseracing could resume as early as 1 May.The deal initially covers all German thoroughbred racing with the option to extend to include harness racing in the future.Riko Luiking, CEO at German Tote added: “SIS has proven to be a strong partner for German Tote, and we are very pleased to extend our relationship even further.” Share SIS adds Irish Greyhound Derby to its portfolio August 13, 2020 SIS grows Latin American footprint through Betcris deal August 12, 2020 StumbleUpon Sharelast_img read more