Norwich City have allowed winger Elliott Bennett to join Championship side Bristol City on loan.Bennett joined Norwich from Brighton in 2011 but has struggled to nail down a first-team spot and had a spell on loan back with the Seagulls last season.The 26-year-old has been a peripheral figure in Alex Neil’s squad this season and has made just two appearances so far – both in the Capital One Cup.But he has been given the chance to play more regular first-team football during a loan at Ashton Gate.Bennett could make his debut for the Robins in next Friday’s Championship clash with Nottingham Forest, and will remain with the club until January 3.Bristol City are currently bottom of the Championship with just one win from their opening ten games. Norwich winger Elliott Bennett 1
1 Manchester United outcast Victor Valdes is considering a move to Mexico when he leaves Old Trafford next month.The former Barcelona goalkeeper has been kept well away from the first team by manager Louis van Gaal after the pair fell out last summer.Valdes has a contract with United until the end of the season but it is highly likely the Spaniard will leave as soon as the January transfer window opens.According to Mundo Deportivo, two of Mexico’s biggest clubs, Atlas and Veracruz, are battling it out to land the 33-year-old.Valdes is apparently open to the idea of finishing his career in Mexico and a deal is expected to be completed before the end of December, with United eager to get the goalkeeper off their books as soon as possible. Victor Valdes
Jan Kirchhoff 1 Sunderland are close to completing a deal for Bayern Munich centre-back Jan Kirchhoff.Sam Allardyce is keen to boost his defensive options this months to aid the club’s fight for Premier League survival.The Black Cats are now understood to have agree a fee with Bayern to sign Kirchhoff, a former Germany Under-21 international.Kirchhoff, 25, has been left out of the club’s mid-season trip to Qatar in order to seal a move to the Stadium of Light.A statement on Bayern’s official website read: “The travelling party does not include Jan Kirchhoff, who is away with his agent concluding negotiations for a possible transfer.”Sunderland will hope to push through a move for Kirchhoff.ahead of their next league game, a crunch clash away to Swansea on January 13, with Younes Kaboul facing up to six weeks more on the sidelines through injury.Allardyce has also been linked with Lorient defender Lamine Kone, although no agreement has yet been reached on that front.
Claudio Ranieri Claudio Ranieri is determined to prevent Leicester’s successful season from being a one-off despite saying the Foxes are ‘having a strange year’.Leicester have been installed as Premier League title favourites after opening up a five-point gap at the top following last weekend’s 3-1 victory at Manchester City.Ranieri’s side face another huge test of their title credentials at third-placed Arsenal on Sunday, but the veteran Italian says his aims have not changed since his summer appointment at the King Power Stadium.“When I signed, our objective was clear – to build this team, gradually bringing it to the top spots,” Ranieri told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.“We know we’re having a strange year, we’re doing well because the big teams haven’t found their rhythm, but our plans won’t change next year beyond what happens at the end of this season.“We must continue to build to target, in the next three or four years, the top spots in the Premier League and fighting for the Europa League.“If we do all this in advance in one year we mustn’t applaud ourselves, next year we’ll start again from scratch.”Asked about comparisons with the success of smaller clubs in Italy, Ranieri replied: “Are we like Foggia, Chievo and Empoli?“It’s a similar story for the feelings it provokes, but there isn’t much of a comparison with the three Italian teams from a strictly football point of view.“Foggia, Chievo and Empoli were built over time, while we were born immediately.”Leicester only just survived relegation last season after an incredible finish in which they won seven of their closing nine matches under previous manager Nigel Pearson.The 64-year-old Ranieri was a surprise choice to succeed Pearson following his ill-fated short spell in charge of the Greece national team.But Leicester have lost only twice in the Premier League and in Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, who have scored 32 Premier League goals between them, possess two of the players of the season.“This year Mahrez has given us incredible magic,” Ranieri said.“Technically I don’t know who he resembles, he has immense quality and is our reference point: when we need to create, we give the ball to him.“Vardy on the other hand has a unique characteristic, he runs at 1,000 miles an hour and always at the same speed.”Ranieri, the former Chelsea, Juventus and Roma boss, also praised goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who has been ever-present in the Leicester defence.“Schmeichel has a big personality, he gives security to the team,” Ranieri said.“He has incredible feet, he plays the ball 50 metres as if he was a trequartista (playmaker).“Because of this the defenders play the ball to him too, knowing they can trust him with the ball as if he was a normal player.” 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.According to state officials, four wild female Medflies were detected at two locations in the Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills areas. Tomorrow’s eradication efforts — using the insecticide Naturalyte — will begin in a 200- meter radius surrounding each detection site. Both Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills are already part of a “preventive release program,” under which millions of sterile Medflies are released each week over various spots in the Los Angeles area. According to state officials, the state saw an average of 7.5 Medfly infestations each year from 1987 to 1994. Since the release program began in 1996, there have been just seven infestations in California, but three of the seven have been this year. The last Medfly infestation in Los Angeles County was in 2001 in Hyde Park. RANCHO PALOS VERDES – Eradication efforts are expected to begin today to combat a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation in Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills — the first such infestation in Los Angeles County since 2001. The eradication effort will begin with ground treatments, followed tomorrow by the aerial release of 250,000 sterile male Medflies for every square mile in the affected 12.86-square-mile area, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture. In the meantime, state officials said they anticipate imposing a quarantine, urging people not to remove any fruits and vegetables from the area. Mediterranean fruit flies can infest more than 260 types of fruits and vegetables. State officials estimate that a permanent infestation could result in annual losses of $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Active fires burned in the Lake Arrowhead resort region of the towering San Bernardino Mountains 100 miles east of Los Angeles, and in rugged wilderness above isolated canyon communities of Orange County, southeast of Los Angeles. A big blaze 60 miles northeast of San Diego stopped its advance toward the mountain town of Julian. One home burned Saturday morning in Arrowbear, east of Lake Arrowhead, when a spot fire broke out. The main blaze, the Slide Fire, was about a mile from 10,000 homes in Arrowbear, Green Valley Lake and Running Springs. About 4,400 people remained in 28 shelter sites, but others waited out the fires in makeshift encampments. In Highland, at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, about 20 people were in their sixth day of living in a Wal-Mart parking lot, getting daily visits from sheriff’s officials who reported that their 17 homes were still intact. For other evacuees, there were losses to tally. In San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo community, Bruce Heinemann, 48, spoke with an insurance adjuster as friends sifted through his ruined home, looking for his wife’s wedding ring, photos and other mementos. Meanwhile, his daughter was at a newly rented home making lists of what they lost, and his wife was visiting department stores to get prices for the insurers. “The kind of mode you’re in is, what do you do today? What do you do tomorrow? Just make a list and get it done,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LAKE ARROWHEAD, Calif. – Firefighters battled stubborn wildfires across Southern California on Saturday, but cloudy skies scattering occasional raindrops brought a welcome improvement in conditions. Tropical moisture flowing from the south replaced the hot, dry Santa Ana winds that roared in a week earlier and spread fires over more than a half-million acres, destroying more than 2,300 structures, including 1,700 homes. The number of deaths directly attributed to the fires officially rose to seven with the addition of four suspected illegal immigrants whose charred bodies were found east of San Diego on Thursday. The four deaths were confirmed as caused by the Harris Fire near the U.S.-Mexico border, said Jose Alvarez, a public information officer for San Diego County emergency services. Attempts to identify the victims are continuing. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The Mexican government said Saturday 11 Mexicans were being treated at a San Diego hospital for burns suffered in Southern California’s wildfires after crossing the border illegally, and four were in critical condition. Six of the injured – ages 20 to 36 – were rescued by firefighters after crossing Sunday near Tecate, about 35 miles east of San Diego. A 20-year-old man is in critical condition at UCSD Medical Center. Five others who crossed the border near San Diego on Sunday are also being treated at the hospital – three of them in critical condition. Although more than a dozen blazes were surrounded, containment of nine other blazes ranged from 97percent to just 25percent. More than 21,000 structures were considered threatened, and more than 15,000 firefighters were on the lines, the state Office of Emergency Services said late Saturday. “It’s very overcast right now, no wind. Low humidity, about 30percent. They’re talking about rain,” said Audrey Hagen, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in San Diego.
Hermosa Beach City Council: Michael DiVirgilio Peter Tucker Measure H – Update of city’s tax on telecommunications and cable television services – Yes AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Hawthorne City Council: Daniel Juarez Lomita City Council: Mark Waronek Don Suminaga Rancho Palos Verdes City Council: Tom Long Douglas Stern Steve Wolowicz Measure C – Would shorten the duration of the the city’s storm drain user fee from 30 years to 10 years and create a resident oversight committee – Yes Measure D – Would repeal the storm drain user fee – No Centinela school board Area 3: Sandra Castillo Suarez : Gloria Ramos-Jaime El Segundo school board: Area 4 Tammy Tagami Reeves Lisa Wilkin Hawthorne school board Cristina Chiappe Eugene Krank Hermosa school board: Lisa Claypoole Barbara Zondiros Lennox school board: Mary Davis Angela Fajardo Manhattan Beach school board: William Fournell Amy Howorth Palos Verdes Peninsula school board: Dora de la Rosa Larry Vanden Bos Torrance school board: Don Lee Terry Ragins 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre And he was only able to roll out his own reform proposals after 11 months, including a plan to create a separate district of 44 of the lowest-performing schools and personalized learning environments at all of LAUSD’s 92 middle schools. But now, even some of those reform plans look to be in jeopardy amid fierce opposition from teachers union leadership that has said it will block his attempts to move forward with the proposals. Education observers give Brewer credit for his charisma and personality, but they have doubts about his ability to stand at the district’s helm – especially since he has not yet been able to assemble a senior management team. “Clearly, he’s got to go beyond the inspirational to the managerial, and that, so far, seems like it’s been a rocky transition. It’s not something he can put off much longer or he will have serious problems,” said Raphael Sonenshein, a political science professor at California State University, Fullerton. “Once the managerial issues are under control, then people will hear your reform ideas because they’ll believe they’ll get implemented. Time is not unlimited for this kind of job. You don’t have a career to turn these things around – you have a relatively short time.” At the one-year mark as superintendent of Los Angeles Unified, David Brewer III has had a rocky initiation into city and union politics as well as the massive bureaucracy at the nation’s second-largest school district. He has grappled with glitches in a $95 million electronic payroll system that created a teachers union uproar as thousands of employees’ pay was affected for more than nine months. He was hit with pay raises for teachers and administrators, and new health care benefits for some workers that forced him to cut $300 million from his budget over three years. While he announced early on that he would push to get rid of ineffective teachers and institute a merit-pay system, he has backed off that approach and now is focused on professional development. Still, Brewer is upbeat and touts successes including lobbying efforts in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., forging a partnership with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and trimming $95 million and 523 positions from the budget. He promises to roll out his high-priority schools transformation district in the year ahead, along with expanded safety agreements and innovation division partnerships, including one with the mayor. And he promises to roll out boys’ academies, boarding schools and neighborhood parent literacy centers, and to bring Boys & Girls Club centers onto more campuses. In a recent interview with the Daily News, Brewer talked about his tenure at the LAUSD and plans for the future. Here are excerpts: Question: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment this year? Answer: “Healing the wounds after (Assembly Bill) 1381 (the mayor’s unsuccessful legislation that would have given him a significant role in the district). I wanted to find out what the morale of the organization was, so what I’ve done is built partnerships with the mayor, political leaders who have not historically had good relationships with the district like Laura Chick, Sen. (Gloria) Romero, worked with businesses and communities. “But more importantly, I’ve identified who (is) our political constituency … the parents, the teachers and the students. So I have created the office of civic and parent engagement, so I have institutionalized this soon-to-be-formal relationship with the community and parents.” Q: Some people believe the teachers union has derailed your agenda. Do you agree with that? A: “No, I don’t agree with that. … As far as my working relationship with the unions, historically union and management have had relationships that are built around tension. However, I am beginning to move the unions towards one focus – and that is focus on the mission of student achievement.” Q: Do you think you would have gotten more done had you not had to deal with teacher raises and health-care benefits issues? A: “No, I don’t think that I would have gotten much more done. I will be very frank: The (payroll problems) clearly have taken away some of my focus, but as any leader understands, you are going to be confronted with something unexpected in any job.” Q: What steps have you taken to increase accountability, cut down bureaucracy and empower local district superintendents? A: “We created our office of strategic planning and systemwide accountability. … That office will help us develop the strategic plans that you will see presented to the board in November. That office also is building one of the best accountability systems that you will see in any school district. … We will be visiting schools and working with schools in developing that accountability system. “But we will also be working through our deputy for professional learning, development and leadership to train people on how to hold themselves accountable and to improve student achievement. “We are basically creating a matrix organization inside of LAUSD. That simply means that we are going to network people across the organization as opposed to in silos.” Q: You had said you would meet quarterly with the 27 mayors. Is that happening? A: “That’s still happening. In fact, we’re establishing a formal committee, LAUSD Cities Committee, wherein we will have formal relationships with the mayors and city officials.” Q: One thing you were particularly passionate about when you started – you talked about social ills, poverty, the number of foster-care kids. Where do those efforts stand? A: “We have signed three formal safety collaboratives – one with LAPD, one with the Sheriff’s Department and the other one is Gardena. “From the intervention perspective, we are putting a Boys & Girls Club on Markham Middle School in South Central. … So within the context of trying to stabilize – especially that middle school population, and eventually the high school population – we have initiatives. “And we’re also working with the YMCA. We’re going to put a YMCA on University High School’s campus. And we will be putting those kinds of resources on more campuses during my tenure.” Q: What have you done on instruction? A: “We have finished the middle school reform plan, that’s No. 1. Then the system of accountability is No. 2. No. 3 is that we have established teacher-collaborative learning teams at 80 schools. So that is really critical right there that we have put in a learning teams program. “It all goes back to what I said, that the professional development of our teachers has been a serious deficit in LAUSD, and so in order to make sure that our teachers were better prepared, we signed a contract with Achievement Solutions to facilitate learning teams for our teachers.” Q: How much time will you need to show change? A: “Two to three years.” Q: So basically at the end of your four-year contract? A: “It’s really based on what the research and data shows. It will take two to three years before you begin to see any major improvement in a school system. … LAUSD is like a battleship: When you put the rudder over, you don’t necessarily get any movement initially.” Q: How do you respond to criticism that you are working with board President Monica Garcia and Vice President Yolie Flores Aguilar – and, by extension, the mayor – and their agendas are overtaking yours? A: “I don’t agree with that. Every two weeks I meet with each board member. They come in here for a personal session with me. If you look back at my State of the Schools address, and you look at the eight resolutions that follow (proposed by Monica Garcia), link those eight resolutions to my address. You will find that my address set the tone for those eight resolutions. “We call ourselves a board of eight, and, again, that is how I lead. I lead through collaboration and partnering.” Q: Some people also are saying (your) plans lack substance … and are not thought-out. A: “The people who are criticizing don’t understand how change is implemented. There is an eight-step process to change. What they’re seeing is basically the first two or three steps to change. … The plans will be put together over the next year. … “The Partnership of Los Angeles Schools first has to go out, develop the partnerships with the two families of schools that they’re going to choose to work with, and then over the next year they put together the plans for the 2008-09 school year. … Strategic does not mean fully baked plans. That means you have an overarching strategy. “Over the next year, we will develop at the tactical level the plans for each school. … That will take at least between now and September. Those plans will be very, very specific, so to my critics, I think they’ll have to agree with that once they see them.” Q: Do you think not having a solid team in place … has detracted from what you are trying to do? A: “I will clearly admit that it was frustrating that I could not find the right person at that time, but I’ve also learned over time that I could fill those gaps with very talented people and still get the job done.” Q: Are you surprised by all this criticism? A: “No. Criticism comes with the job. … Coming into this job as superintendent, I fully anticipated that I would be criticized. But I’m strong enough to know that I have to stay on course, and I have to follow that North Star that I have established in order to make sure that we achieve our goals.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
3 This could be Arsene Wenger’s final season at Arsenal 3 On August 17, 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson made a statement to the rest of the Premier League by signing Arsenal striker and reigning Footballer of the Year Robin van Persie.That statement was that he was going to win the Premier League title one last time, regardless of the cost and detriment to his squad in future years.Was signing a 29-year-old striker for £24m the best thing in the long-term for the club? Probably not, but his 26 goals in that 2012/13 season, which culminated in a sublime hat-trick against Aston Villa to win United’s 20th league title, meant it was worth it. The Van Persie signing was an indulgence for Ferguson, a retirement present to himself, and it looks like Arsene Wenger is about to gift himself a similar present in the form of current Player of the Year Jamie Vardy.The Englishman is pondering joining the Gunners for £20m after a stunning season which saw his 24 goals fire Leicester City to the Premier League title, something that has evaded Wenger since 2004.Like Van Persie was in 2012, Vardy is a 29-year-old striker who has just had the season of his life and is looking for a new challenge and a bumper payday.Vardy is chasing a four-year deal, the same length of contract Van Persie signed for United, although he is not expected to be a key player for any more than half of that, also like the Dutchman.Spending that amount of money for a player of that age surely reflects a short-term approach, so is Wenger preparing for his Arsenal exit?On May 8, 2013 – nearly nine months after Van Persie’s arrival – Ferguson announced his intention to retire as Manchester United manager, having secured his 13th Premier League title. Wenger going for Vardy is a departure from his normal transfer strategy and with growing discontent at his position at the club, this could be the first nod from the Frenchman to his imminent departure.Why else would the notoriously stubborn Wenger relent to what the more outspoken of fans have been demanding and finally look to the present, rather than the future.The blueprint is the same as Ferguson’s and the retirement gift is being wrapped and delivered, but it remains to be seen whether Wenger’s plan will have the same result.Do you think Wenger’s move for Vardy suggests the Frenchman is pondering his own future? Comment below… 3
SANTA ANA – A woman who settled with an Orange County hospital after a delayed liver transplant sued her former attorney Thursday, alleging that he didn’t tell her about serious problems with the transplant program that could have resulted in a larger sum. The attorney, Lawrence Eisenberg, currently represents 17 people who were on the waiting list for a liver transplant at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, before the program shut down late last year. In the lawsuit, transplant patient Elodie Irvine alleges that Eisenberg learned about a systemic problem at the UCI program while researching her case, but didn’t tell her about his discovery until after she had agreed to settle for $50,000. The suit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, alleges that Eisenberg got her to agree to the amount “through verbal assault, coercion, intimidation and duress” and told her he didn’t have enough money to pursue the case further. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “He had learned through an expert … that the surgeons at UCI were turning down livers in order to do other, more state-of-the-art, lucrative surgeries,” Irvine’s new attorney, Frank O’Kane, said. “That’s the tip of the iceberg. That should tip you off to do further discovery – but he didn’t.” Eisenberg said the lawsuit was an attempt by O’Kane to discredit him so he could attract more clients from the UCI liver transplant scandal. “The allegations have no merit whatsoever. Ms. Irvine authorized the settlement, she agreed to the settlement,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!