Bill funding Vermont transportation needs clears House, sent to PresidentWashington, D.C. Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL) supported and the House passed HR 6532, the Highway Trust Fund Restoration Act, to address a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and restore more than $8 billion in federal funding for states.The bill, which has cleared the Senate and will now be sent to the president for his signature, restores over $47 million in federal transportation funding for Vermont’s roads and bridges.”Our roads and bridges in Vermont and across the country are falling into disrepair. It is simply unacceptable to continue to neglect the up-keep and safety of our transportation system,” said Welch. “The federal government needs to be a partner in supporting states in meeting our pressing infrastructure needs.”In FY2008, federal Trust Fund spending for Vermont is $161,725,931. Without action by Congress, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that Vermont’s funding will be cut to $114,413,876 for FY2009.The legislation prevents this $47,312,055 cut to Vermont transportation projects.In 1998, in response to concerns that the Highway Account’s $16.5 billion balance was too large, Congress transferred more than $8 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund.In the face of major Highway Trust Fund shortfalls in 2009 and beyond, H.R. 6532 restores $8.017 billion in highway-user taxes to the Highway Trust Fund that were originally transferred in 1998.# # #
USC’s men’s and women’s tennis teams found success competing in their respective ITA All-American tournaments over the past week.The women’s team played at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Senior Zoë Scandalis, who is ranked No. 15 in the nation, was the sole representative in the main singles draw for USC. In the first round, Scandalis cruised past Princeton’s No. 67-ranked Lindsay Graff, 6-1, 6-0. This put her through to the Round of 16, where she fell to third-ranked Hayley Carter of UNC, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.Scandalis couldn’t dwell on the loss, though, as she had to turn around and keep playing in the doubles draw with her partner, junior Giuliana Olmos. Olmos and Scandalis, ranked No. 7 in the nation together now, made it to the finals of this tournament last year, and were looking to repeat their success. This year, the squad earned a bye in the first round of competition. They got off on the right foot in the Round of 16 on Oct. 2 defeating Cal’s No. 11-ranked Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr, 6-0, 6-4.Olmos and Scandalis, who went 22-8 overall together last season, came up against Michigan’s 14th-ranked team of Sarah Lee and Ronit Yurovsky, and took home a 6-2, 7-5 win.This earned the duo a spot in the semifinals against Stanford’s Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao. Davidson and Zhao, who went 29-6 together last season, pulled off a straight sets win over Olmos and Scandalis, 7-6, 6-2.The men’s team was just as busy playing in the ITA Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The Trojans earned three spots in the main singles draw and had one squad playing in the main doubles draw. Seniors Yannick Hanfmann, Roberto Quiroz and Jonny Wang all earned automatic bids to the tournament.Hanfmann, ranked No. 2 in the nation, has not dropped a set yet in five matches for this tournament and earned a spot in the finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 20 Romain Bogaerts of Wake Forest on Sunday. He will face Louisville’s Sebastian Stiefelmeyer in the finals, who is ranked No. 110 in the nation.In the first round, Hanfmann beat No. 36 Florian Lakat of Mississippi State, 6-2, 6-4. That win earned him a matchup against Texas’ No. 31 Lloyd Glasspool, where he pulled off a 6-1, 6-1 win. Hanfmann then advanced to the Round of 16, where he beat Harvard’s No. 18 Denis Nguyen, 6-0, 6-3. In the quarterfinals, he steamrolled Duke’s Nicolas Alvarez, 6-1, 6-1.In typical fashion for the San Marino, California, native, Wang pulled off an impressive upset in the first round, beating Texas A&M’s No. 11-ranked Harrison Adams, 6-3, 6-3. In the Round of 32, he faced Texas Tech’s Felipe Soares, ranked No. 43 in the nation, and prevailed by a 6-3, 6-3 score again. But Wang fell to No. 17-ranked Nathan Pasha of Georgia by a 6-3, 6-4 score to end his tournament run.Quiroz was on the other end of an upset in the first round, falling to Notre Dame’s No. 88 Quentin Monaghan. The Ecuadorian had more success in doubles, though, teaming up with Hanfmann to make the finals of the tournament.The duo topped ranked teams from Indiana, Florida State and Vanderbilt to reach the semifinals on Sunday against Texas A&M’s Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo. The Trojans prevailed, 6-1, 6-4, to earn a spot in today’s final against Tennessee’s Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis, the top-ranked doubles squad in the nation.The singles final will kick off at 8 a.m. today and the doubles final begins at 11 a.m. today. UPDATE:Senior Yannick Hanfmann fell to Louisville’s No. 110 Sabastian Stiefelmeyer in the singles finals on Monday. No. 2 Hanfmann had not dropped a set all tournament, but was upset, 6-3, 6-2 by the Austrian who made his way through the qualifying rounds and all the way to the championship.Hanfmann had his hands full again in the doubles final later in the day. Hanfmann and Quiroz, ranked No. 19 together, took on the defending ITA All-American doubles champions, Tennessee’s top-ranked Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese. The Trojans came up empty handed, losing 6-3, 6-4.
Ex-Ghana striker Augustine Arhinful says the country’s current football woes could not be solely blamed on Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kwesi Nyantakyi insisting that the bad nuts within the executives must be booted out.In a sharp disagreement with his former national team-mate Sammy Kuffuor, Ahinful says reforming the federation is the best way to proceed instead of blaming the leader.The former Borussia Dortmund attacker believes there are other executives committee members working against the leadership into ensure that there is failure.Ahinful says such faceless characters must be booted out of the federation and that the GFA needs to be cleansed in order to sanitise the game of football in the country.Recent commentary He, however, said GFA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, alone could be blamed for the woes of the nation’s football because he did not work alone.“That, to me, does not mean somebody must go but as FA president, Mr Nyantakyi takes responsibility for whatever happens and that is why maybe he always bears the brunt,” he explained. “Of course, the FA president is the head but he has picked people who are working with him. There are good ones but others may not be good and those are the people who must be weeded out,” Arhinful emphasised and asked how the GFA could succeed when details of an executive committee meeting which was supposed to be behind closed doors was once heard live on radio.Arhinful, who was speaking to the Graphic Sports, however, expressed worry at the clause which made it difficult for other people to be part of football administration in the country and said, conducting a shake-up in the FA has always been a difficult process because the clause allowed members of the various committees to be associated with football clubs.This, he said, was because there are many people who are ready to help revive football in the country, but they are unable to do so because they do not have any link with clubs.The former Ghana international, who once won the goal-king title with for Obuasi Goldfields in the Ghanaian Premier League, was not happy about the declining state of Ghana football and stressed the need for the FA and its allied institutions to work assiduously to revive the sport.Sharing his thoughts on the possible endorsement of Avram Grant as the next Black Stars coach, Arhinful said given the necessary support, the new coach could do the work. He, however, expressed concern about the haste in which the FA came out with the announcement, saying “what if we are not able to meet his financial demands and the other contender also comes with similar demands?”–
Although brief, the appearance of the Horseshoe Falls in a U.S. tourism promotion effort is likely to also vex Canadians, who long have fought to distinguish themselves from their larger and more powerful neighbor to the South. The political boundary is not marked with a line through the Niagara River that divides the two countries and connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The distinction, however, is clear to most who have visited the Falls looking for a picture postcard photo to take home. But it seems to have escaped the notice of the producers and those at the State Department and Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection agency who presumably vetted the video before endorsing it and posting it to their Web sites. In a separate “making of” video, Jay Rasulo, the chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, speaks over the falls footage about the importance of showing would-be tourists “the great sites, the great vistas that they dream about all their lives when they dream about America.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Oh, Canada! The USA is closer than ever. The Bush administration appears to have annexed a major Canadian landmark as part of a slick new campaign to promote U.S. tourism and welcome foreign visitors to America. A Disney-produced promotional video released last week by the departments of State and Homeland Security highlights majestic American landscapes, from New England’s colorful fall foliage and the Grand Canyon to the Rocky Mountains and Hawaii’s pounding surf. Backed by a soaring orchestral soundtrack, shots of those attractions are interspersed with the smiling images of people of all creeds and colors. The video, “Welcome: Portraits of America,” is to be played at select airports in the United States – starting at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston – and at U.S. embassies abroad. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.About four minutes into the seven-minute production, viewers are treated to the impressive sight and sound of water roaring over Niagara Falls before the screen shifts to the Lincoln Memorial. In showing the natural wonder, Disney’s filmmakers, however, chose the Horseshoe Falls, the only one of Niagara’s three waterfalls to lie almost entirely on the Canadian side of the border separating western New York state from southern Ontario province. Making matters worse, a visitor to the U.S. would not even be able to get the same view of the falls in the video because the scene was shot from a vantage point in Canada, according to Paul Gromosiak, a Niagara Falls, N.Y., historian and author. Also, he said the video leaves out the two cascades that actually are on U.S. territory, the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. “This is not the United States, this is 100 percent Canada, shot from the Canadian side,” Gromosiak said after reviewing the video at the request of The Associated Press. “This is an insult.”