NorCal baseball regionals: Valley Christian edges Cardinal Newman to reach D-I final
SAN JOSE — When the California Interscholastic Federation voted before the pandemic to add a regional tournament for baseball, you’ve got to think the decision-makers imagined games such as the one that unfolded Thursday at Valley Christian.
On the first day of June under blue skies, two section champions with four losses between them met for a spot in Saturday’s Northern California Division I final.
As expected, it was nail-bitingly tense from the first pitch to the last.
But only Valley Christian was celebrating at the end.
The top-seeded Warriors held off fourth-seeded Cardinal Newman 2-1 to advance to play host to defending champion De La Salle in the championship game. The second-seeded Spartans beat Franklin-Elk Grove 6-5 in nine innings in the other semifinal.
Valley Christian ace Michael Castaneda pitched five innings of one-run ball against a powerful-swinging team from Santa Rosa and Alec Belardes pitched the final two frames for his second save of the regionals.
But it was far from smooth sailing.
Cardinal Newman left a runner at third in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings.
In the fourth, when Brady Boyd’s home run to left pulled the visitors to within 2-1, the Cardinals stranded a runner at second.
“Just trust my D,” Castaneda said. “They were doing a good job of getting on base early in the innings. I was able to dial in after that and stay focused and be able to trust my D. No matter where they hit it, no matter how hard they hit it, it’s going to find a guy.”Valley Christian’s Michael Castaneda (3) celebrates the final out of the top of the fifth inning against Cardinal Newman High School of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Cardinal Newman, which had lost only once all season, came out swinging in the first inning. But after Anane Wilson reached third with two outs, Boyd ripped a ball to deep center that Tatum Marsh reeled in.
It was that kind of day for the visitors and a stomach-turner for the winning coach.
“It obviously raised my blood pressure a little bit,” Valley Christian coach John Diatte said. “But just being able to trust the guys that you have in the game, knowing that these guys have been with us for three years, we’ve invested in them. They’ve invested in us.
“They know what our culture is about. You’ve just got to trust them to do the right things.”
Valley Christian (31-3) didn’t even need a hit to take a 1-0 lead in the first.
Carmelo Rivera got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to second on a balk and went to third on Marsh’s sacrifice. Rivera then scored on PJ Moutzouridis’ sac fly to center.Valley Christian starting pitcher Quinten Marsh (24) hits an RBI single which scored Valley Christian’s Carmelo Rivera (26) against Cardinal Newman High School in the third inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
It stayed 1-0 until Quinten Marsh hit a two-out opposite-field single to left in the third to drive in Rivera, who opened the inning with a bunt single.
“It was fastball, low and away,” Marsh said. “I was kind of sitting on it because he had been giving me those sliders and I was battling those off. I knew he was going to try to get me with a fastball. I just had to get it in play and let my runners get around. I got it done.”Cardinal Newman’s Brady Boyd (3) is congratulated by teammates on his solo home run against Valley Christian High School in the fourth inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
After Boyd’s home run cut Valley’s lead in half, the home team threatened to pad its advantage in the fifth when Moutzouridis’s double down the left-field line and an error on Quinten Marsh’s flyball to left put runners at second and third with nobody out.
But Castaneda’s groundout to second turned into a double play when Marsh, who thought Moutzouridis had broken from third to home, got thrown out at second.
A flyout ended the inning with the score still 2-1.
Cardinal Newman (28-2) had another shot to pull even in the sixth when a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Colin Lopez from first to third.
But Valley caught a break on the play when Diego Boardman, who put down the sacrifice bunt, was thrown out trying to advance to second.Valley Christian’s Alec Belardes (14) throws against Cardinal Newman High School in the sixth inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
With two out and Lopez at third, the Arizona State-bound Belardes struck out Jack Lazark with a knee-buckling breaking ball to end the threat.Related Articles
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Belardes then retired the side in order in the seventh to send Valley to the title game against De La Salle, which has won 29 consecutive postseason games dating to 2016.
“I trusted my breaking ball a lot today,” Belardes said. “Fastball wasn’t really there at the beginning and then it got dialed in. I knew I had to make good pitchers.”
On the Cardinal Newman side, it was a tough end to a special season, one that included a North Coast Section Division III championship last weekend.
Mason Lerma gave his team a shot, allowing two runs over six innings.
“We had a lot of opportunities,” Cardinal Newman coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “We swung the bat well. We got ourselves opportunities. We just couldn’t cash in a couple of times. But they had the same opportunities. It just came down to two great teams battling today.”Valley Christian’s Carmelo Rivera (26) bunts against Cardinal Newman High School in the third inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. Rivera was safe at first. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Cardinal Newman starting pitcher Mason Lerma (10) throws against Valley Christian High School in the first inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Valley Christian’s Carmelo Rivera (26) successfully makes it to first base on a bunt against Cardinal Newman’s Vero Poueu (25) in the third inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Valley Christian starting pitcher Michael Castaneda (3) his a single against Cardinal Newman High School in the third inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Cardinal Newman’s Jack Lazark (8) throws to first base after tagging out Valley Christian’s Carmelo Rivera (26) for a double play on a hit by Valley Christian’s Tatum Marsh (4) in the fourth inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Cardinal Newman’s Jack Lazark (8) makes it safely back to second base against Valley Christian’s PJ Mountzouridis (8) in the fourth inning of their NorCal Division I regional semifinal game at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Three Bay Area kids, all sponsored by the same Rotary club, make it to National Spelling Bee finals
Three Bay Area students sponsored by the same Rotary club were among 11 finalists vying for a $50,000 cash prize in the biggest spelling bee in the country — with one student making it to the final four.
Twelve-year-old Dhruv Subramanian, a 7th-grader at Windemere Ranch Middle School in San Ramon, has been watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee since he was three or four. This week, he found himself in a Washington, D.C.-area convention center as a competitor.
“It’s quite a surreal experience, especially getting into the finals like this,” Dhruv said Thursday afternoon by phone after getting in some last-minute studying on his “frequently missed words list” and doing some meditation to try to calm himself.Speller 9 Dhruv Subramanian of Danville, CA, representing San Ramon Valley Rotary Club, competes in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, MD, on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 (photo by E. M. Pio Roda/Scripps National Spelling Bee)
The ballroom in the National Harbor, Maryland, convention center where the contest started with preliminaries Tuesday is about half the size of a pro-basketball arena and decorated with honeycomb motifs. Although the giant room echoes with chatter between competitions, when the spelling bee starts, quiet descends, Dhruv said. “It sounds so calm, but in the hearts of each speller, it’s a nightmare,” he said.
After a contestant gives an answer, one of two things happens, Dhruv said. “The head judge says, ‘That’s correct,’ or the ding could happen — the speller’s out,” he said.
On Thursday night, Dhruv made it through until only he and six others remained, then he got the ding after adding two extra letters to “crenel,” a word for an opening in a battlement.Students (L-R) Shradha Rachamreddy, Vikrant Chintanaboina and Dhruv Subramanian at the Amador Rancho Community Center in San Ramon, California on March 25, 2023, after winning in the championship of the Bay Area Scripps Regional Spelling Bee, before the three traveled to the national competition, where all three made the finals. (courtesy of the Rotary Club of San Ramon Valley)
Dhruv, along with Shradha Rachamreddy, 13, a 7th-grader at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Upper School in San Jose, and Vikrant Chintanaboina, a 14-year-old in 8th grade at Discovery Charter School’s Falcon Campus in San Jose, first won their way through three levels of Bay Area regional spelling bees. Those events started with 224 elementary- and middle-school students from 210 schools in 11 counties, and the trio came out on top among the 46 participants in the regional finals in March. On Thursday, Shradha made it to the last four contestants, then was knocked out by switching the last two letters of “orle,” part of a coat of arms.
All three — friends after many spelling bees together — were sponsored by the San Ramon Valley Rotary Club, which put on the regional finals. But the fact that the kids all made it so far is something of a coincidence — they don’t practice together, and each follows their own training regimen.
The San Ramon Valley Rotary Club officials could hardly believe all three of the students they backed made it to the top 11 of the 229 kids in the national bee, said the club’s youth services chairperson, Sudha Ponnaganti.
“It is amazing how they progressed — an amazing performance by very smart kids,” Ponnaganti said.
The club designed the regional finals to hone the skills of the contestants, enlisting judges with national-level spelling bee experience and even a pair of local Contra Costa County librarians as on-site advisors, Ponnaganti said.
National spelling bee organizers have told Ponnaganti that the Bay Area has a reputation for producing kids with exemplary spelling skills. Many of the region’s schools hold spelling bees starting early in elementary school, and many parents are highly educated, Ponnaganti said.
“It requires a lot of effort from the whole family, not just from the students themselves,” she said.
Vikrant, reached by phone just ahead of the finals Thursday, said he was excited and just “a bit” nervous. “But I know whatever happens I’ve just got to take it in stride — it’s already an accomplishment getting this far,” Vikrant said.
A competitive speller since 2nd grade, Vikrant had made it to the national bee in 2022, tying for 49th place, and in 2019, tying for 51st place.
“I try to study for a minimum of an hour a day, but I usually do five to six hours on a good day,” said Vikrant, who also likes to spend time outdoors, play video games and play with his brother. “Sometimes it can be hard to find time, so I can do only an hour. If it’s a weekend and I have nothing to do, I can easily do up to eight hours.”
Just before competing, Vikrant crams in some final practice, using his computer to present him with spoken words he has to spell. “When I get five words right, then I’ll leave the room,” he said.
Vikrant said he has found a community in the competition, kids with a shared interest and purpose. “Everybody’s not against each other but against the dictionary,” he said. Vikrant got the ding right after Dhruv, misspelling “pataca,” the money of Macao.
The National Spelling Bee started 98 years ago and now involves 11 million students each year. For more than 50 years, the competition, now the Scripps National Spelling Bee, has worked with dictionary icon Merriam-Webster, whose unabridged dictionary is the official lexicon of the bee. The competition features vocabulary questions along with spelling.
Dhruv, who plays piano and guitar, volunteers at food banks and an animal shelter and aims for a career in neuroscience, said he practices spelling and vocabulary three to four hours per day and has had a spelling-bee coach for the last year and a half. He’s been competing in spelling bees since kindergarten. Since age 4 or 5, he’s read encyclopedias out of a general interest in knowledge, he said. “I would coin myself a quick word here,” he said. “I’m an encyclopediac.”
Shradha, in clips aired during the finals, said she enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and playing badminton. Of spelling bees, she said, “There’s always the luck factor, but there is the saying that luck favors the prepared.”
Why are homeowners moving to Sacramento?
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The city of Sacramento is nestled in the heart of Northern California, and it is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Being in close proximity to iconic destinations such as Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada and the stunning Napa Valley wine region ensures that any outdoor enthusiast will find themselves spoiled by the opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing and water sports — all within a short drive from their new home in Sacramento.
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Potential homeowners with school-age children that are looking to purchase their new home in Sacramento will appreciate the area’s commitment to education. The region is home to esteemed public and private schools, as well as prestigious universities such as California State University, Sacramento, and the University of California, Davis. These institutions offer students world-class education, making Sacramento an ideal place to purchase a new home and invest in a bright future for your children.
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Investigation underway into in-custody death at Milpitas jail
MILPITAS — Authorities are investigating the death of a 57-year-old male inmate at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas.
Deputies found the man unresponsive in his cell at 11:12 a.m. Wednesday, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. He received CPR at the jail and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:35 p.m. the same day.
The coroner’s office will release the man’s identity once it is confirmed and his next of kin is notified.
The sheriff’s office said it is following standard protocol for an in-custody death and conducting a joint investigation with the coroner’s and district attorney’s offices.
There were no immediate signs of foul play or suspicious circumstances leading to the man’s death, the sheriff’s office said, adding that he was housed alone at the time.Related Articles
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The man was booked into jail Sunday on drug possession charges stemming from a Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
Check back for updates.
Women’s College World Series: Stanford softball can’t break No. 1 Oklahoma’s win streak
By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Stanford freshman NiJaree Canady softball was locked in a pitcher’s duel Thursday against Oklahoma, the two-time defending champs, but was eventually outdone by Sooners ace Jordy Bahl, putting the Cardinal on the brink of elimination in the Women’s College World Series.
Bahl threw a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts to help Oklahoma defeat Stanford 2-0 Thursday in its tournament opener.
“Jordy was absolutely on her game,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. “She was just a boss today. It was really fun to watch that, especially not getting the opportunity she wanted last year and just making the most of it from day one.”
Bahl outlasted Canady, the nation’s leader in ERA and the NFCA freshman of the year. Canady gave up just four hits and one earned run in five innings while regularly throwing 75 mph against an Oklahoma team that leads the nation in scoring and batting average.
“We knew what we were running into in the way of NiJa, and she has become one of the hardest-throwing, ball-moving freshmen I’ve ever seen,” Gasso said. “So I feel like we got a really tough, tough matchup. Their pitching staff is really good.”
Jayda Coleman’s RBI single in the fifth provided all the offense Oklahoma needed.
Bahl was Oklahoma’s ace last season, but an arm injury late in the season left her with a reduced role at the World Series. This year, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-American was healthy and ready to go.
No. 1 seed Oklahoma (57-1) extended its Division I-record win streak to 49 games and advanced to play No. 4 seed Tennessee (50-8) on Saturday. The winner reaches the semifinals in the double-elimination bracket.
No. 9 seed Stanford (45-14) will play No. 5 seed Alabama (45-21) in an elimination game on Friday.
Oklahoma’s Haley Lee sent a Canady pitch to the warning track in the fourth, but Stanford left fielder Ellee Eck snagged the hard shot to end the inning.
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“Those are honestly the situations you kind of like to be in as a pitcher at times because, when teams press you like that, it makes you be your best, and you can’t take a pitch off, and it’s a good test,” Bahl said. “So those moments are kind of fun, even though they’re really high stress at times.”
With two on and two outs in the fifth, Coleman singled to left field to knock in a run. An error on Eck for letting the ball bounce off her glove allowed the other runner to score and put the Sooners up 2-0.
“I think she saw a good pitch and hit it, honestly,” Canady said. “All I can do is throw each pitch to the best of my abilities. Yeah, I think she just saw the pitch.”
The Sooners break the silence! #WCWS x ESPN / @OU_Softball pic.twitter.com/FdASVe4lSX
— NCAA Softball (@NCAASoftball) June 1, 2023
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Records show frantic aftermath of Jeffrey Epstein’s death
By Michael R. Sisak and Michael Balsamo | Associated Press
NEW YORK — Two weeks before ending his life, Jeffrey Epstein sat in the corner of his Manhattan jail cell with his hands over his ears, desperate to muffle the sound of a toilet that wouldn’t stop running.
Epstein was agitated and unable to sleep, jail officials observed in records newly obtained by The Associated Press. He called himself a “coward” and complained he was struggling to adapt to life behind bars following his July 2019 arrest on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges — his life of luxury reduced to a concrete and steel cage.
The disgraced financier was under psychological observation at the time for a suicide attempt just days earlier that left his neck bruised and scraped. Yet, even after a 31-hour stint on suicide watch, Epstein insisted he wasn’t suicidal, telling a jail psychologist he had a “wonderful life” and “would be crazy” to end it.
On Aug. 10, 2019, Epstein was dead.
Nearly four years later, the AP has obtained more than 4,000 pages of documents related to Epstein’s death from the federal Bureau of Prisons under the Freedom of Information Act. They include a detailed psychological reconstruction of the events leading to Epstein’s suicide, as well as his health history, internal agency reports, emails and memos and other records.
Taken together, the documents the AP obtained Thursday provide the most complete accounting to date of Epstein’s detention and death, and its chaotic aftermath. The records help to dispel the many conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s suicide, underscoring how fundamental failings at the Bureau of Prisons — including severe staffing shortages and employees cutting corners — contributed to Epstein’s death.
They shed new light on the federal prison agency’s muddled response after Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at the now-shuttered Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.
In one email, a prosecutor involved in Epstein’s criminal case complained about a lack of information from the Bureau of Prisons in the critical hours after his death, writing that it was “frankly unbelievable” that the agency was issuing public press releases “before telling us basic information so that we can relay it to his attorneys who can relay it to his family.”
In another email, a high-ranking Bureau of Prisons official made a spurious suggestion to the agency’s director that news reporters must have been paying jail employees for information about Epstein’s death because they were reporting details of the agency’s failings — impugning the ethics of journalists and the agency’s own workers.
The documents also provide a fresh window into Epstein’s behavior during his 36 days in jail, including his previously unreported attempt to connect by mail with another high-profile pedophile: Larry Nassar, the U.S. gymnastics team doctor convicted of sexually abusing scores of athletes.
Epstein’s letter to Nassar was found returned to sender in the jail’s mail room weeks after Epstein’s death. “It appeared he mailed it out and it was returned back to him,” the investigator who found the letter told a prison official by email. “I am not sure if I should open it or should we hand it over to anyone?”
The letter itself was not included among the documents turned over to the AP.
The night before Epstein’s death, he excused himself from a meeting with his lawyers to make a telephone call to his family. According to a memo from a unit manager, Epstein told a jail employee that he was calling his mother, who’d been dead for 15 years at that point.
Epstein’s death put increased scrutiny on the Bureau of Prisons and led the agency to close the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2021. It spurred an AP investigation that has uncovered deep, previously unreported problems within the agency, the Justice Department’s largest with more than 30,000 employees, 158,000 inmates and an $8 billion annual budget.
An internal memo, undated but sent after Epstein’s death, attributed problems at the jail to “seriously reduced staffing levels, improper or lack of training, and follow up and oversight.” The memo also detailed steps the Bureau of Prisons has taken to remedy lapses Epstein’s suicide exposed, including requiring supervisors to review surveillance video to ensure officers made required cell checks.
Epstein’s lawyer, Martin Weinberg, said people detained at the facility endured “medieval conditions of confinement that no American defend that should have been subjected to.”
“It’s sad, it’s tragic that it took this kind of event to finally cause the Bureau of Prisons to close this regrettable institution,” Weinberg said Thursday in a telephone interview.
The workers tasked with guarding Epstein the night he killed himself, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were charged with lying on prison records to make it seem as though they had made their required checks before Epstein was found lifeless. Epstein’s cellmate did not return after a court hearing the day before, and prison officials failed to pair another prisoner with him, leaving him alone.
Prosecutors alleged they were sitting at their desks just 15 feet (4.6 meters) from Epstein’s cell, shopped online for furniture and motorcycles, and walked around the unit’s common area instead of making required rounds every 30 minutes.
During one two-hour period, both appeared to have been asleep, according to their indictment. Noel and Thomas admitted to falsifying the log entries but avoided prison time under a deal with federal prosecutors. Copies of some of those logs were included among the documents released Thursday, with the guards’ signatures redacted.
Another investigation, by the Justice Department’s inspector general, is still ongoing.
Epstein arrived at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on July 6, 2019. He spent 22 hours in the jail’s general population before officials moved him to the special housing unit “due to the significant increase in media coverage and awareness of his notoriety among the inmate population,” according to the psychological reconstruction of his death.
Epstein later said he was upset about having to wear an orange jumpsuit provided to inmates in the special housing unit and complained about being treated like he was a “bad guy” despite being well behaved behind bars. He requested a brown uniform for his near-daily visits with his lawyers.
During an initial health screening, the 66-year-old said that he had 10-plus female sexual partners within the previous five years. Medical records showed he was suffering from sleep apnea, constipation, hypertension, lower back pain and prediabetes and had been previously treated for chlamydia.
Epstein did make some attempts to adapt to his jailhouse surroundings, the records show. He signed up for a Kosher meal and told prison officials, through his lawyer, that he wanted permission to exercise outside. Two days before he was found dead, Epstein bought $73.85 worth of items from the prison commissary, including an AM/FM radio and headphones. He had $566 left in his account when he died.
Epstein’s outlook worsened when a judge denied him bail on July 18, 2019 — raising the prospect that he’d remain locked up until trial and, possibly longer. If convicted, he faced up to 45 years prison. Four days later, Epstein was found on the floor of his cell with a strip of bedsheet around his neck.
Epstein survived. His injuries didn’t require going to the hospital. He was placed on suicide watch and, later, psychiatric observation. Jail officers noted in logs that they observed him, “sitting at the edge of the bed, lost in thought,” and sitting “with his head against the wall.”
Epstein expressed frustration with the noise of the jail and his lack of sleep. His first few weeks at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Epstein didn’t have his sleep apnea breathing apparatus he used. Then, the toilet in his cell started acting up.
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The day before Epstein ended his life, a federal judge unsealed about 2,000 pages of documents in a sexual abuse lawsuit against him. That development, prison officials observed, further eroded Epstein’s previous elevated status.
That, combined with a lack of significant interpersonal connections and “the idea of potentially spending his life in prison were likely factors contributing to Mr. Epstein’s suicide,” officials wrote.
Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland, Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, Sam Metz in Salt Lake City, Jake Offenhartz and David B. Caruso in New York, Russ Bynum in Savanah, Georgia, Gene Johnson in Seattle and Brooke Schultz in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.
Biden Notches Win on Debt Ceiling Deal, but Lets Others Boast
Trump, DeSantis trade jabs on the campaign trail
By Michelle L. Price, Steve Peoples and Thomas Beaumont | Associated Press
GRIMES, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism of his chief rival Ron DeSantis on Thursday, jumping immediately on remarks by the Florida governor on the campaign trail to try to highlight his own strength as the leading GOP presidential candidate.
Trump, appearing in Iowa as DeSantis campaigned in New Hampshire, made a point of telling about 200 members of a conservative club gathered at a Des Moines-area restaurant that they could ask him questions — an offer that came not long after DeSantis snapped at an Associated Press reporter who asked him why he didn’t take questions from voters at his events.
“A lot of politicians don’t take questions. They give a speech,” Trump said to the audience, many of whom wore red Make America Great Again hats espousing his political movement.
Trump also sought to push back on DeSantis’ argument that it will take two terms in the White House to roll back the actions of the Biden administration — a veiled reference to Trump, who can only serve one additional term.
“Who the hell wants to wait eight years?” Trump said, claiming he could unwind President Joe Biden’s policies within six months.
DeSantis, asked about the former president’s comment while leaving a voter event in Rochester on Thursday afternoon, noted that Trump had already had a chance to fix the nation’s problems in his first term in office. “Why didn’t he do it in his first four years?” he asked.
Their campaign appearances displayed an early tableau of the Republican primary that’s just getting underway: Trump hammering DeSantis and promising to use a return to the White House to quickly undo his successor’s work, while the governor limits his replies and direct critiques, pitching instead to nationalize his aggressive governing style.
Both men are portraying themselves as the stronger fighter for conservative causes and their party’s best chance to block Biden from reelection next year. Thursday was the first time both were on the campaign trail meeting with voters since DeSantis announced his candidacy for president last week.
At all four of his events in New Hampshire, DeSantis left the stage without inviting any questions from voters, which is typically expected of presidential candidates competing in the first-in-the-nation primary state. DeSantis also didn’t take any questions on stage from voters in Iowa during his time in the state earlier in the week.
While posing for pictures and shaking hands with voters after speaking at his his first event in Laconia, DeSantis was asked by the AP reporter why he wasn’t taking questions from people in the audience.
“People are coming up to me, talking to me. What are you talking about? Are you blind?” he said. “Are you blind? People are coming up to me, talking to me whatever they want to talk to me about.”
Alan Glassman, treasurer of the state GOP, attended the event and was disappointed that the Florida governor didn’t include a question-and-answer period. Glassman and his wife decided to skip any subsequent events of the day given that DeSantis wasn’t likely to take unscripted questions.
“This is New Hampshire. The reality here is the vast majority of political people here in New Hampshire, we do our due diligence. We want to know where these people stand. And a lot of that is hearing from them and then asking them questions,” Glassman said.
“I’m just hoping that next time the governor does show up here, he’ll actually be doing some more interaction with the people,” Glassman said.
In Laconia, DeSantis turned his focus to Biden, criticizing him for championing a move to demote the early-voting state from its prominent role picking presidential candidates. He said the president was wrong to back a Democratic National Committee move to have New Hampshire hold its Democratic primary the same day as Nevada as part of a major shakeup meant to empower Black and other minority voters critical to the party’s base of support. The Republican Party’s calendar is decided separately, but the Democrats’ changes have irked members of both parties in New Hampshire.
“I’m glad Republicans are holding the line and committed to New Hampshire,” DeSantis said.
He used a similar line tailored to local voters when acknowledging that New Hampshire, like Florida, does not collect personal income taxes. “You’ve got this one little outpost in New England that’s holding the line,” said DeSantis, who made stops in four cities Thursday.
Matt Johnson, a 55-year-old consultant from Windham, New Hampshire, who attended DeSantis’ third event of the day in Salem, said Trump and DeSantis present voters with a real choice but he liked that DeSantis “has proven he actually can get stuff done in government.”
Trump “talked a lot and he got some stuff done but he didn’t really get a lot of things done that he probably should have,” Johnson said. “As for the cult of personality thing, I’ve had enough of that.”
But Walter Kirsch, 64, of Warner, New Hampshire, said Republicans must realize that, despite being “gruff” at times, Trump will ultimately be the party’s nominee in 2024. Warner, who was among several dozen supporters waving Trump flags outside a DeSantis event Thursday evening in Manchester, said he hoped DeSantis “will think about what he’s doing and bow out of this and give it to the man who’s earned it.”
“Ron DeSantis has been doing an amazing job in Florida. He should stay there. I feel he may be destroying his political career,” Kirsch said.
Seeking to draw a contrast with DeSantis, Trump took questions from voters at all of his Thursday events, which included a breakfast meeting in Urbandale, a Trump team volunteer leadership training event outside Des Moines in Grimes and a private meeting with about 50 pastors at a Des Moines church, though the last event was closed to the media.
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As Trump and DeSantis make their pitch to GOP voters, the Republican presidential field is shaping up to become even more crowded.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to launch a Republican presidential campaign June 6 in New Hampshire. The next day, both Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum are expected to announce campaigns of their own.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and biotech entrepreneur and “anti-woke” activist Vivek Ramaswamy are among the other candidates already in the race.
Price reported from New York and Peoples reported from Laconia and Rochester, N.H. Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in New York and Steve LeBlanc in Salem, N.H., contributed to this report.
Mission Peak Village creates new Bay Area housing and intergenerational connections
Homebuyers in 2023 are questioning whether conventional neighborhoods work well for them. Many are now more acutely sensitive to isolation from neighbors — the possibility of living among people you rarely see or interact with. It’s hard to know if a prospective community will be friendly.Mission Peak Village members gather to play soccer over the weekend.
Members of Mission Peak Village believe finding a home should be more than a real estate transaction; it is a lifestyle choice. Residents are their own developers with an active role in building homes on a site that meets their own rigorous criteria. Mission Peak Village hired an experienced development consultant, bought land and selected an architect. By move-in time, they will already be a connected community of intergenerational neighbors.
Mission Peak Village didn’t invent this approach. The group adopted an intentional community model called cohousing, introduced to North America in 1988 by architects Kathryn McCamant and Chuck Durrett with their seminal book “Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves,” based upon an innovative model popularized in Denmark.
The authors observed that cohousers in Denmark were happier and better connected to their neighbors than most Americans in tracts of compartmentalized single-family units. In cohousing, each household maintains a personal residence, but the neighbors also share amenities to reduce the daily cost of living and create opportunities for human interaction.
Today, North America can claim more than 180 cohousing communities. Inspired by their predecessors, Mission Peak Village is establishing Fremont’s first cohousing development of 32 condominiums clustered around a sizable common house (community center). Designed for daily use, the common house will feature a large kitchen and dining area suitable for occasional shared meals and parties, as well as a craft area, coffee bar, laundry, media room, library, guest quarters and quiet space for studying or working from home. The members value environmentally sustainable design. The community will be owned and managed by residents, who will divide up responsibilities such as child care and gardening.
The land site ticks off many priority items for future residents: excellent school district, proximity to employment centers, walkability, available public transportation, readily accessible parks, retail services and entertainment. Two bonus features of Mission Peak Village’s neighborhood are a weekly farmers market and a soon-to-be built BART station within a half-mile.
With the creative expertise of Gunkel Architecture and development consultation from cohousing pioneer Kathryn McCamant, Mission Peak Village has submitted plans to the city of Fremont for design review. The group has formed a development partnership with UD+P, experienced developers of cohousing communities, and expects to break ground in early 2024. Homes are still available to reserve. More information is available during online information sessions and neighborhood walking tours. Registration and more information are available at the Mission Peak Village MissionPeakCoHousing.org.
Content provided by Mission Peak Village LLC
Nielsen top shows of 2022-2023 include ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘NCIS’
Looks as if “Yellowstone” is going out on top. The Paramount Network series, which will end after its fifth season, was the most-watched scripted television series of the 2022–2023 season, according to Nielsen data.
“Yellowstone” was No. 2 overall with 11.5 million viewers.
The Nielsen ranking, published by Variety, tracks linear viewers of broadcast and cable series, as well as unscripted fare. As usual, football remains a major draw for TV viewers.
NBC’s “NFL Sunday Night Football,” for starters, tops the chart with 18.1 million viewers, while ESPN’s “NFL Monday Night Football” comes in third with 10.1 million. Amazon’s “NFL Thursday Night Football” comes in sixth with 9.4 million. (Amazon struck a deal with Nielsen to measure streaming viewers of its NFL coverage.)
Outside of sports showdowns, longtime CBS procedural “NCIS” came in fourth place with 9.8 million viewers, followed closely by the same network’s “FBI” with 9.5 million.
CBS also scored with “Fire Country,” the top new drama of the season in total viewers and ratings in the 18-to-49 demographic. In fact, CBS’ numbers are so good that even its canceled drama “East New York” ranked No. 24 in total viewers.
Other winners include broadcast sitcoms. CBS’ “Young Sheldon” (No. 7) and “Ghosts” (No. 10) and ABC’s “The Conners” (No. 49) and “Abbott Elementary” (No. 59) all gained viewers since last season.
HBO, meanwhile, only has one entry in the top 100: the “Game of Thrones” spinoff “House of the Dragon.” But “House of the Dragon” and other hits — including the post-apocalyptic drama “The Last of Us,” which doesn’t make this year’s Nielsen ranking — get big numbers with streaming viewership.
As for “Yellowstone,” the fifth and final season will resume airing in November. The announcement of the Western drama’s end came soon after reports of scheduling drama involving series star Kevin Costner. But Paramount is already developing a sequel series with “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan.
The 10 most expensive homes reported sold in Alameda, Piedmont and Oakland in the week of May 22
A house in Piedmont that sold for $5.7 million tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Alameda, Piedmont and Oakland in the past week.
In total, 38 residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $2.3 million. The average price per square foot ended up at $828.
The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of May 22 even if the property may have been sold earlier.10. $2.5 million, single-family home in the 6700 block of Elverton Drive
The sale of the single family residence in the 6700 block of Elverton Drive in Oakland has been finalized. The price was $2,500,000, and the new owners took over the house in April. The house was built in 2007 and has a living area of 5,531 square feet. The price per square foot was $452. The house features four bedrooms and five bathrooms.Elverton Drive 9. $2.5 million, single-family house in the 5900 block of Bruns Court
The property in the 5900 block of Bruns Court in Oakland has new owners. The price was $2,510,000. The house was built in 1925 and has a living area of 2,540 square feet. The price per square foot is $988. The house features four bedrooms and two bathrooms.Bruns Court 8. $2.6 million, single-family residence in the 6200 block of Fairlane Drive
A sale has been finalized for the single-family residence in the 6200 block of Fairlane Drive in Oakland. The price was $2,550,000 and the new owners took over the house in April. The house was built in 1994 and the living area totals 3,093 square feet. The price per square foot ended up at $824. The house features four bedrooms and three bathrooms.Fairlane Drive 7. $2.6 million, detached house in the 6800 block of Estates Drive
The property in the 6800 block of Estates Drive in Piedmont has new owners. The price was $2,627,000. The house was built in 1950 and has a living area of 2,400 square feet. The price per square foot is $1,095. The house features three bedrooms and three bathrooms.Estates Drive 6. $3.3 million, single-family home in the 200 block of Park View Avenue
The 1,940 square-foot detached house in the 200 block of Park View Avenue in Piedmont has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in April and the total purchase price was $3,250,000, $1,675 per square foot. The house was built in 1937. The house features three bedrooms and four bathrooms.Park View Avenue 5. $3.3 million, single-family house in the 700 block of Calmar Avenue
The sale of the single-family residence in the 700 block of Calmar Avenue, Oakland, has been finalized. The price was $3,300,000, and the new owners took over the house in May. The house was built in 1912 and has a living area of 3,616 square feet. The price per square foot was $913. The house features three bedrooms and three bathrooms.Calmar Avenue 4. $3.7 million, detached house in the first block of Crest Road
The 3,724 square-foot single-family home in the first block of Crest Road, Piedmont, has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in May and the total purchase price was $3,700,000, $994 per square foot. The house was built in 1941. The house features four bedrooms and four bathrooms.Crest Road 3. $3.9 million, single-family residence in the 100 block of Beechwood Drive
The sale of the single-family home in the 100 block of Beechwood Drive, Oakland, has been finalized. The price was $3,850,000, and the house changed hands in April. The house was built in 1996 and has a living area of 4,210 square feet. The price per square foot was $914. The house features five bedrooms and four bathrooms.Beechwood Drive 2. $4.2 million, single-family home in the 300 block of Pershing Drive
A sale has been finalized for the single-family house in the 300 block of Pershing Drive in Oakland. The price was $4,150,000 and the new owners took over the house in April. The house was built in 1928 and the living area totals 4,261 square feet. The price per square foot ended up at $974. The house features five bedrooms and four bathrooms.Pershing Drive 1. $5.7 million, detached house in the first block of Bellevue Avenue
The property in the first block of Bellevue Avenue in Piedmont has new owners. The price was $5,650,000. The house was built in 1922 and has a living area of 4,064 square feet. The price per square foot is $1,390. The house features four bedrooms and five bathrooms.Bellevue Avenue
Letters: Protect ridgeline | Spend prudently | Warning to voters | Safe roads
Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.Protect the Pittsburg
Imagine waking up one day to see development on the ridgeline of the Concord Naval Weapons Station, right behind the new Thurgood Marshall East Bay Regional Park. That will happen if we don’t speak up now. The Seeno-owned ridgeline property is in the process of being quietly approved by the Pittsburg City Council and developed.
In 2023 we should at the very least save our ridgelines from development, especially this ridgeline that will be seen by neighboring cities.
What can you do? Contact the Pittsburg City Council and ask them to be a good neighbor and preserve at least the ridgeline. Support Save Mount Diablo in their efforts to preserve open space, including this ridgeline.
spend money prudently
Transit has fallen on hard times. Thanks to COVID and the resulting changes in travel patterns, transit ridership and farebox returns have both dropped dramatically.
Unfortunately, instead of accepting this new reality and adapting to it, the large transit bureaucracies appear to prefer sitting and waiting for an outside bailout. If so, given the $31.5 billion state of California deficit and a just-announced clampdown on federal spending, these agencies may be putting themselves at substantial risk.
Transit agencies fill an important public need and for this reason, deserve tax funding. But that’s not the whole story. The agencies themselves also have a role to play. What galls us is that transit funds are too often allocated and spent with no concern for cost-effectiveness. Both the spending agencies and allocating agencies need to bear down on ensuring that transit funding is spent prudently and in the public interest.
Bay Area Transportation Working Group
Water ruling should
give voters warning
Clean water is a health issue that nourishes the body. According to an environmental law group, Earthjustice, American Indians depend on it for their culture, food and economy.
Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court does not see it that way. In a 5-4 decision of Sackett v. EPA, a conservative majority of the court narrowed the Clean Water Act, which preserves clean water around the country. That will mean that American Indians’ way of life will be shattered because of polluted water that will affect their culture, food and economy.
The court’s ruling should be a warning sign for the majority of Americans when they go to the polls in November 2024.
safe this summer
Warm weather comes, and a lot happens on the roads. The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. More fatal crashes happen then.
A drunken driver hit me when I was 16 in 1992. After years of hospitals and therapies I can walk and talk, but lost my hearing abilities, cannot drive and I struggle daily. Driving on Interstate 680 to and from a party? End a tragedy that’s plagued communities for decades:
• If drinking, don’t risk it. Many believe they are sober when they are not. Let a sober person or public transportation drive you.
• Save lives. Call 911 to report impaired drivers. Keep California’s roads safe.
Murraya? Cernuous? Here’s how long ago these National Spelling Bee winning words were trending
Several Bay Area kids are slated to compete Thursday night in the grand finale of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland.
If you’ve ever watched the Spelling Bee, you’ve probably asked yourself: Where in the world do they come up with these words?
Case in point: Have you ever heard of the word “murraya” before? Pronounced: mr·ai·uh. That’s M-U-R-R-A-Y-A. Apparently it describes a certain type of tropical Asiatic and Australian tree.
If you got that wrong, that’s entirely understandable, since in 2019 it only appeared 0.0000000499% of the time compared to all other words in English language books stored on Google. According to our analysis of the data, Murraya was a much more commonly-used word back in the 1800s, but has fallen out of fashion over the last 223 years.
And that is not the only National Spelling Bee winning word that’s fallen out of favor. We analyzed the 11 winning words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2018. In 2019, eight kids won the championship, so there’s plenty of words to choose from that year.
We mapped how frequently these winning words appeared in books stored on Google compared to all other words. In the graphic below, select a word and see how frequently it appeared in English language books, going back to 1800. Click one of the the lines of data to see the word’s definition. How many do you actually know? Which words have become less popular over time?
And good luck playing along with the Bee. It starts at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the ION Network. Click here for more info on how to watch.
Soaring rhetoric: NASA mission will carry Poet Laureate Ada Limón’s words to Jupiter
A new work by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, written for an upcoming NASA mission, is a glance at outer space that returns back to Earth.