TOP PLAYERS Only recently, he blasted a 12-ball half-century in the Big Bash to equal the record for the fastest ever fifty in T20s. Russell, meanwhile, has become one of the most sought-after T20 players and last year plied his trade in the Indian Premier League, South Africa’s Ram Slam, the Caribbean Premier League, the Bangladesh Premier League, and the Big Bash. He emerged as one of the leading players for Sydney Thunder as they wrapped up the BBL title last week, scoring 185 runs at a strike rate of 186 while taking 16 wickets with his pace bowling. The Windies squad also sees the return of combative left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who has not played for West Indies since last April after being dropped following England’s Test tour of the Caribbean. Benn, 34, had an outstanding campaign with the ball in the Regional Super50 which wrapped up on Sunday in Trinidad and Tobago, taking 15 wickets to be the tournament’s leading bowler. All-rounder Darren Sammy, who led West Indies to the T20 World Cup title four years go in Sri Lanka and into the semi-finals in Bangladesh in 2014, has been re-appointed skipper. West Indies are set to play in Group One alongside reigning champions Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and yet-to-be determined qualifier. WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (captain), Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn, Sunil Narine, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Batting sensation Chris Gayle and all-rounder Andre Russell have both been included in the 15-man West Indies squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in India. Some media reports yesterday announced the squad without Gayle and Russell, sparking some speculation on social media, but CMC Sports understands that the Jamaican pair is definitely part of the Windies campaign for the March 8 to April 3 tournament. The squad, which is yet to be named officially by the West Indies Cricket Board, includes embattled off-spinner Sunil Narine, who is currently banned from bowling internationally. However, Narine is expected to undergo testing on his action at Loughborough University in England next month, before confirming his spot on the side. All eyes will be on Gayle, however, especially after he sparked controversy during the recent Australia Big Bash with his now infamous ‘Don’t blush, baby’ live television interview, where he appeared to openly flirt with Channel Ten’s Mel McLaughlin. The 36-year-old left-hander has played in every T20 World Cup since the inaugural tournament in South Africa eight years ago, when he announced himself in the format with a stunning hundred against the hosts in Johannesburg. He has since become arguably the most valued commodity on the global T20 circuit, and his presence will ensure West Indies will be installed as one of the early favourites.
SANTA PAULA – Nonprofit groups and community leaders are being encouraged to take advantage of a network of resources to foster community and economic development in Ventura County in the areas of Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru. State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Westlake Village, sponsored Santa Paula’s Community Renewal Regional Conference on Oct. 29, offering advice on how to apply the statewide program locally. The Community Renewal Project is a partnership between California legislators and the Capitol Resource Institute. Organized in 2000, the project increased its presence through California’s diverse communities hosting conferences that bring faith, community, business and elected leaders together to enhance their efforts to strengthen their communities. The Santa Paula conference in October focused on ways to use the program to equip faith-based and community leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to revitalize and renew their communities and organizations. A number of officials from surrounding cities attended, including Santa Paula Mayor Mary Ann Krause, and representatives of the Higgy Foundation, Las Piedras Police Storefront, Cabrillo Economic Development Corp., Emanuel Lutheran Church, Girl Scouts of America, Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau, Fillmore Family Recreation Center, Interface, Santa Paula Family Resource Center and Action-Spirit of Santa Paula. For information on the project, visit www.communityrenewal.net. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Re “Fight brewing against mayor” (Nov. 25): The real reason the LAUSD is fighting Mayor Villaraigosa so vehemently is to protect their own positions and that of their cronies. For instance, the new school building projects proclaimed by the LAUSD as an example of their accomplishments have run over budget and over schedule as various LAUSD factions bicker about how to slice up their piece of the bond pie. When the money runs out, they simply go back and put another bond issue on the ballot. The LAUSD pays lip service to reform in the schools, and shows outright scorn to taxpayers who pay their inflated salaries. It’s time for us and our mayor to put an end to this. The taxpayers and the parents are being held hostage by the LAUSD. Robert Smith Sherman Oaks Realistic education Re “Everybody best at transfers” (Nov. 26): Transfer rates are not all that the community colleges are about. As a high school counselor, many of my students pursue a two-year degree to become proficient in areas that will support our society in essential occupations. The community colleges and occupational centers train plumbers, electricians, computer repair persons, automotive technicians, nurses, medical assistants, paralegals and the list goes on. Without these individuals our society would collapse. Time for a realistic approach to educating and getting a handle on the politically correct, elitist, nonproductive attitudes. Karen Savitt Granada Hills Do something! Re “Double-decker road rage” (Nov. 27): Caltrans must love traffic jams. It seems to listen only to the less than 1 percent who complain about freeway improvements rather than the 99 percent who could benefit immensely. Caltrans is supposed to be a public service agency. How about some real service in breaking up the gridlock? Carl Olson Woodland Hills Benefits win Re “Double-decker road rage” (Nov. 27): Am I the only one in favor of double-decking the 405 Freeway? How is it taking up more land? You are building on an existing freeway. In fact I would extend it longer, from the 101/405 interchange all the way to LAX. The upper level could be the “express” freeway, meaning that it only has a limited number of exits restricted to the major exits such as Wilshire or Sunset Boulevard and one or two others. The lower level of the freeway would be the “local” commute. I commute from the Valley to West Los Angeles every day and have relatives that live south of LAX. It really has become unbearable because almost any time you get on the freeway there is a traffic jam. The benefits of the double-decking greatly outweigh the negatives. Steve Shaevel Woodland Hills Education committee Re “No spin zone” (Editorial, Nov. 29): Positive information about student achievement in public schools should be conveyed via school newspapers, newsletters and coordinated efforts with city-certified neighborhood councils and their Web sites. City Council members and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment need to put more effort into seeing to it that an education committee and a seat for youths be included in the by-laws of each council. Irena Szewiola North Hills How dedicated? Re “Why this teacher left LAUSD behind” (Viewpoint, Nov. 27): As an “old timer” of 45 with 23 years’ teaching experience, I find Ari Kaufman’s description of his experiences offensive and immature. He describes himself as a young, dedicated, bottom of the pay scale, under-appreciated teacher. Well, Ari, dedicated veteran teachers don’t quit after two years. I am not less dedicated because I find it reasonable to occasionally leave after an eight-hour day. We use our prep time, lunch times, nighttime, family time and weekends to prepare for class. Just like him, we are all evaluated by administration. I got to the top of the pay scale only by taking advanced classes. The veteran teachers I know are always willing to help new teachers like Ari because we do change the world one child at a time. Belinda Torres Mossler Northridge I gave already Re “Reiner warns of new tax” (Nov. 19): It is nice to see Rob “Meathead” Reiner holding the bull by the tail for a change. He was the one who loaned his considerable weight to the ballot that raised the price of cigarettes by 50 cents, whereupon the tobacco companies got into the act and raised their prices 50 cents, making me and millions of others pay $10 more per carton. Now that someone else wants to raise the price of cigs by $1.50 per pack, he is up in arms to defend his charity – which I never knew had a name (I thought it was a figment of his imagination at the time). Let them put their $1.50 tax on a bottle of scotch or other liquor. Let the boozers pay for once. Alan Falconer Northridge Semantic shuffle Re “Arnold to consider clemency for Williams” (Nov. 26): In order for a bastardized cause to achieve any level of legitimacy, obfuscation of the truth must occur. Media duplicity is necessary to feign a benign appearance, giving credence to the cause. Thus, Rodney becomes a “motorist,” Najee the “community activist/project director,” Snoop an “artist” and, of course, Tookie “author” and “Nobel nominee,” et al … ad nausea; their commonality having long since been obscured via the semantic shuffle. Doug Aitken La Crescenta Must be a lot The last time I remember seeing the scores of the national standard school tests, I remember California came in number 48 or 49 in the nation. Now I read our schoolteachers will soon be averaging $59,000 a year after their new contract. I wonder what the teachers get in the other states where they actually educate the children – $100,000? Stan Niedwicki Woodland Hills If Charley wrote Re “How many books? (Your Opinions, Nov. 20): Good job, Charles Robinson, you hit the nail right on the head about “Tookie” Williams writing books. Hey, what if Charles Manson wrote children’s books, would people say he should be pardoned also? I don’t think so. Ron Slocum North Hollywood Could have won I find it ironic that the Democrats are using Rep. John P. Murtha’s war record to back their cause when it was the Democrats who not only got us into heavy combat in Vietnam – but lost their guts and turned against it. I can’t speak for Rep. Jean Schmidt and if she lied, that’s on her; not the Republican Party and not the right wing. I am both and I can only speak for myself. I also find it ironic that Murtha is a member of the political party that stabbed him and his fellow Vietnam veterans in the back. Perhaps he could have come back a victor if the Democrats had tried to win the war. Douglas Gillard Palmdale Collecting Karma Re “And bottles” (Your Opinions, Nov. 15): In regard to the letter about the trash pickers looking for cans and bottles and everything to eat or anything to sell to get something to eat, I find it helps me and helps them to throw bags of cans and bottles out into the alley and let them pick them up. What goes around, comes around. Richard Barrett North Hollywood Dog and pony show The other evening I was surprised to see our mayor being interviewed on TV by a woman. It was really informing at first, until it become obvious the mayor had the questions beforehand. He did everything but read the answers. This was just an insult to us that he would go to these means to show how great he is. We do not need our leader doing a dog and pony act. Frank Jacobs Sylmar Hi-O Silver, away The mission is accomplished. We went to Iraq to, one, remove Saddam – done. Two, find and remove WMD – none found, OK, done. Mission accomplished. As the Lone Ranger used to close his episodes, “Let’s go, Tonto, our job here is done.” Arnold Moore Sherman Oaks AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!