Did Al Pacino really want to have a baby at 83? Girlfriend drama raises questions

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:08

In the days after 83-year-old Al Pacino shocked the world by announcing that he was expecting a baby with his 29-year-old girlfriend, his representative seems to be working overtime to make it clear that the actor “could not be happier” about the pregnancy.

The statements from Pacino’s camp Wednesday and Thursday came in response to a flurry of reports that claimed “The Godfather” legend had doubts about the baby’s paternity and made it clear to the girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, that he, already the father of three adult children, didn’t want any more kids.

Reports from TMZ, ShowBiz411 and Page Six also said that Pacino and the eight-months pregnant Alfallah were no longer in a relationship; that he had only learned about the pregnancy two months ago; that lawyers were involved; and that he had demanded a prenatal DNA test because he had a medical issue that made him think he couldn’t get anyone pregnant.

Al Pacino, 83, demanded paternity test, didn’t believe he could get Noor Alfallah, 29, pregnant https://t.co/zR1hVEmwdw pic.twitter.com/JBgNnOYcmK

— Page Six (@PageSix) June 1, 2023

But Pacino’s rep told People that he and Alfallah were still a couple, while a source close to the actor told the Daily Mail he “could not be happier” to become a father for the fourth time.

Perhaps the “Scarface” actor wants to be come across as doing the gentlemanly thing. The source also insisted to the Daily Mail that he and Alfallah are “very much in love” and denied that he had been kept in the dark about the pregnancy. TMZ and Page Six also reported that Alfallah took the DNA test, which proved that the baby was his.

It’s easy to see why Pacino’s news sparked questions about why he, in his 80s, would want to dive back into the all-encompassing world of caring for a newborn — even if he can hire nannies to do the work. Among the many other issues to consider: Pacino has to be realistic about whether he can stay active enough, or live long enough, to see the child start kindergarten, much less reach high school. Several other famous men who had children in their early 80s — Saul Bellow and Anthony Quinn — died within five years of their child’s birth.

Certainly, it’s pretty unusual for men to have children in the 80s. It’s even unusual for men to have children in their 50s. Of children born in the United States, fewer that 1% were born to fathers ages 50 or older, according to a 2017 study by Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

But Pacino has landed himself in a unique category: Rich, famous and powerful men who continue to procreate. Perhaps they do so because they think they are doing their much-younger wives and girlfriends a favor by giving them a child. Certainly, these men have the resources to raise the children into adulthood.

Still, the relationship between Pacino and Alfallah — and their 54-year age gap — has raised questions, especially because Alfallah, an aspiring producer, has become known for gravitating to romances with much older men, the Daily Mail reported. She especially seems drawn to men who are rich and powerful in the entertainment industry, the Daily Mail and Page Six reported.

A source told Page Six in 2022 that Alfallah, a Beverly Hills native who earned a master’s degree in film and TV production from UCLA, “moves with the wealthy jet-set crowd, and she comes from money.”

Alfallah first made headlines in 2017 when she dated Mick Jagger, when he was 74 and she was 22, People reported.

“Our ages didn’t matter to me,” she told Hello! Magazine after their breakup in March 2018. “The heart doesn’t know what it sees, it only knows what it feels. It was my first serious relationship, but it was a happy time for me.”

The Daily Mail also said Alfallah dated billionaire Nicolas Berggruen. In 2019, she sparked romance rumors with Clint Eastwood — who turned 93 this week, People reported. They were were photographed dining out together in Los Angeles. Alfallah, though, denied a relationship, telling the Daily Mail: “We’re family friends, and my family was there and that’s it. … Trust me there’s no relationship.”

Pacino and Alfallah were first romantically linked in 2022 after they were spotted grabbing dinner together, People said. Sources told Page Six that that the couple began quietly dating during the pandemic.

On his Showbiz411 site, entertainment reporter Roger Friedman painted a rather alarming picture of the situation that Pacino now finds himself in with Alfallah. Friedman said Pacino’s predicament is not at all like that of his 79-year-old colleague Robert De Niro, who happily planned to have his seventh child, a daughter, with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen earlier this month.

A source told Friedman that Pacino thought his relationship with Alfallah “was over a long time ago.” Pacino only began dating Alfallah in the first place after she ingratiated herself into his life by becoming good friends with his 22-year-old daughter, Olivia, whose mother is actor Beverly D’Angelo, Friedman reported.

“Suddenly Alfallah was everywhere Olivia was, especially during the lockdown,” another source told Friedman. After Pacino initially broke up with Alfallah, she returned to his life a year later and insisted that she had a medical issue that prevented her from becoming pregnant.

Pacino was “shocked” by the news she was pregnant and his three adult children are “upset,” a source told Friedman. The source also said: “Lawyers have been working on this for months.”

Categories: Local News

Let’s Smash the College Admissions Process

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:03
If affirmative action goes, bigger changes are necessary.
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Recording of Trump Underscores Growing Evidence in Documents Case

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:00
A conversation in which the former president is said to have acknowledged that he could not declassify a sensitive document could undercut a defense he has offered.
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Letters: Empty home tax | Wasting money | Include solutions | Vote yes | Lacking courage | Age appropriate

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:00

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

An empty home tax
could help homeless

Re: “RV dwellers could soon get a lot” (Page A1, May 31).

San Jose could pay $18.9 million for a 10-year lease on 6.3 acres for a sanctioned parking site to allow up to 85 RVs to park; “costs could exceed $24 million [taxpayer money] over a half decade if on-site improvements and services expenses are included,” all to help homeless folks.

Yet, “San Jose had 4,316 off-market empty homes in 2020” (San Jose Spotlight, July 20). Empty homes mean falling enrollment and less state money for local schools. (There is an empty home at the end of my street.) As of a May 30 county report, Santa Clara County has 1,226 homeless families.

The absentee owners of empty homes passively watch the value of their properties increase. A nice investment for them, but at a big expense to local taxpayers. San Jose needs an empty home tax to help discourage unoccupied rental housing and to help fund affordable housing.

Susan Price
San Jose

An RV lot will waste
taxpayers’ money

Re: “RV dwellers could soon get a lot” (Page A1, May 31).

At an estimated annual cost of $28,000 for each of the 85 RV spaces contemplated under the proposed Berryessa 10-year land lease, the city of San Jose has once again proven that local government is simply unable to engineer cost-efficient solutions to address its problems — in this case, addressing a very minor sliver of our homeless problem.

For easily less than one-third the cost of the Berryessa land lease, the city could quickly provide vouchers to the same current 85, city-street RV dwellers to pay for semi-permanent residence at any number of operating county RV parks. Wouldn’t the result be identical? Why then must our elected officials insist upon spending way more money than is necessary?

The answer is quite simple — it’s really easy when you’re spending other people’s money. Welcome to the homeless-industrial complex.

Nicholas Cochran
San Jose

Climate coverage
should include solutions

Re: “Study warns state coastline could wash away” (Page B4, May 30).

The article spells doom for California’s coastline. As a climate activist, behavioral psychology enthusiast, and millennial raised in the Bay Area, I find the lack of solutions-oriented coverage in this piece unacceptable for readers.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that a barrage of negative news threatens our nervous system into shutdown. Any newspaper committed to “telling accurate and compelling stories that make an impact” should feature people actually working on positive impact.

The coastline article focuses on damages, monetary loss and danger. This well-intentioned climate coverage can be dangerous to readers’ mental health. The alarmism inserts yet another barrier for readers wanting to get involved in creating a healthier, safer Bay Area. We want to protect the beautiful coastline we love so much as Californians — The Mercury News can and should tell us how.

Nivi Achanta
Los Gatos

Age appropriateness
was never the issue

Re: “Headline distorts reasonable solution” (Page A6, May 30).

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The original parent complaint regarding Amanda Gorman’s work did not mention “age appropriateness.” It made the political charge of “indoctrination” and claimed it contained “hate speech” and provided page numbers. While there may sometimes be legitimate reasons for some library or school actions regarding “age appropriateness,” some rethinking was needed here. And there was only one complaint.

When I was in third and fourth grade, I was reading novels that were at least high school level. When I asked a librarian for help to find a book, she took me to what I called “kids’ books.” I was insulted … but she did help me find a book at my reading level. And my parents would check out books for me from the “grown-up” part of the library.

Kip Bryant
San Jose

Categories: Local News

Russian Missiles Kill 3 in Kyiv, Including Mother and 9-Year-Old Girl

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:00
They were among three people killed in a Russian missile attack, officials said. Ukraine opened an investigation, as Russians described shelling and evacuations in border regions.
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The Case of the Disappearing Debt Disaster

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:00
One secret ingredient: Republicans don’t care about policy
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Settlement in power plant explosion is largest in the history of state energy commission

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:59

The city of Hayward will receive $1.25 million to fund clean energy projects as part of a $2.5 million settlement over an explosion at the Russell City Energy Company power plant two years ago.

The settlement agreement comes just after the anniversary of an explosion that blasted dozens of pieces of metal up to a quarter-mile into the surrounding community on May 27, 2021. According to Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo, one 10-pound chunk of metal plummeted through the roof of the kitchen at a city homeless services center.

“No one was in there because it was close to midnight, but if it fell into the sleeping quarters, someone probably would have died,” McAdoo said.

Other pieces of metal ended up in the city’s wastewater treatment ponds and surrounding streets. The power plant, which has been in operation since 2013, was shut down for several months during a critical, energy-intensive period of the summer following the accident.

The explosion quickly prompted an investigation by the California Energy Commission (CEC), which oversees power plant licensing, to determine the cause of the failure and ensure it won’t happen again.

It was ultimately determined that a malfunction in the steam turbine generator led to the explosion and subsequent fire. The investigation also detailed a number of safety failures, including maintenance of critical equipment and poor protection from water induction.

“Safety and reliability, we can’t compromise on either of those,” said CEC Commissioner Andrew McAllister.

Although the plant is not required to admit fault as part of the settlement, CEC commissioners acknowledged that the explosion could have easily resulted in “injury and death.” The report on the investigation also details specific failures on behalf of the plant.

The settlement is the largest in the history of the CEC. With half of it slated for Hayward, the other $1.25 million will go into the CEC’s general fund.

The commission could have chosen to shut down the power plant entirely. According to McAdoo, the power plant’s importance for energy stability was likely part of the calculus in fining the company, rather than revoking its license.

McAdoo said the city is comfortable with the plant continuing to operate in Hayward.

“There was a lot of concern about what could have happened,” McAdoo said. “They responded accordingly and did their due diligence that these issues were cleaned up.”

As part of the settlement, Russell City Energy Company–a subsidiary of one of the largest electric services companies in the country, Calpine Corporation–was required to put safeguards into place that will prevent a similar explosion from happening again.

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The energy commission also mandated that Calpine work with the city and the fire department to ensure that there is better communication between management at the plant and the fire department, as well as requiring additional training and preparation exercises.

As a result of conversations with Hayward, the CEC also made changes to statewide procedures, ensuring that any audits related to a power plant will also be sent to the community it operates in.

The $1.25 million will be brought to Hayward City Council sometime in the next few weeks for acceptance. McAdoo said it will be used on clean projects that reduce energy reliance on power plants like Russell City Energy Company, such as installing solar panels on city facilities or developing alternative energy sources.

Categories: Local News

Boeing’s astronaut capsule faces more launch delays after latest problems

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:58

Boeing's astronaut capsule faces more launch delays after new problems cropped up.
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Biden Is Said to Pick Mandy Cohen to Lead C.D.C.

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:57
The president’s choice for the job, Dr. Mandy Cohen, would replace Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who is stepping down at the end of the month.
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Column: A’s believe Las Vegas move is worth the gamble — but that’s what it is

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:55


John Fisher has been thinking a lot about tourists lately.

Las Vegas runs on tourists. Fisher, the owner of the presumptive Las Vegas Athletics, would like to cater to them. He has pondered whether his A’s should start home games at 4 p.m., the better for tourists to catch a game in the afternoon and a show at night.

The legislation proposed to lure Fisher’s team from Oakland to Las Vegas runs 44 pages. The bill does not mention the A’s. The title of the bill: “The Southern Nevada Tourism Innovation Act.”

The public-private partnership proposed between the A’s and Nevada, in which the team would get hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies toward a new stadium, does not involve much in the way of public input.

The bill was introduced on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend, with public comment reserved for a hearing on Memorial Day. Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo could sign the bill into law within a week or in a special legislative session soon after.

The governor’s chief of staff, Ben Kieckhefer, kicked off Monday’s hearing by declaring in no uncertain terms: “The state general fund will make money on this deal.”

Those are the kinds of comments that make economists roll their eyes, because academic studies repeatedly have shown that states and cities rarely make money on stadium deals. Jeremy Aguero, a Las Vegas-based consultant working with the A’s, bluntly addressed that issue in pitching the A’s deal during the hearing.

“If you build a stadium in most places around the United States,” Aguero said, “it is going to have a negative economic impact.”

Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, must be thrilled. Good luck with expansion.

What makes Las Vegas different from any other market, Aguero said, is the tourist infusion. Las Vegas runs on 40 million tourists per year, and a baseball team could be another marquee attraction on the world-famous Strip.

With tourists come revenue and jobs, but baseball teams do not offer the number of jobs that Aguero and the A’s are pitching.

The A’s have about 200 full-time employees. Perhaps that number would double with the ticket sales and marketing that would surround a move.

The Oakland Athletics released artist renderings of their proposed new 30,000-seat ballpark in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, May 26. Per the team, the park will sit on nine acres at the site of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, and a partially retractable roof. The orientation of the playing surface will allow for the outfield to open to the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. (Courtesy of Oakland Athletics).The Oakland Athletics released artist renderings of their proposed new 30,000-seat ballpark in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, May 26. Per the team, the park will sit on nine acres at the site of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, and a partially retractable roof. The orientation of the playing surface will allow for the outfield to open to the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. (Courtesy of Oakland Athletics). 

The Angels have about 200 concession workers on an average game day, union spokeswoman Maria Hernandez said. Security, parking, ticket operations and other positions outside that union account for more game-day jobs — but not thousands more.

Aguero told me Tuesday that his projection showed the A’s ballpark would result in 5,400 jobs per year in team and stadium operations.

“I don’t know that I necessarily agree with your numbers,” he said.

Aguero said the Las Vegas difference revolves around the nongame events, the private parties and corporate events that can fill a stadium when the team is not playing. He said the A’s stadium could have 200 private events per year and said he did not consult with other major league teams about job numbers.

“I think it’s very much an apples to oranges comparison,” he said. “We’re looking at other facilities that we have here in Las Vegas, to get a sense of what it might look like.”

Aguero provided legislators with estimates that 30% of fans would be tourists, including 16% who would not have to come to Las Vegas if not for the opportunity to see a major league game. In a stadium with a proposed capacity of 30,000, that would mean as many as 9,000 tourists per game.

Aguero estimated the NHL’s Golden Knights, whose winter season is much more tourist-friendly, sell 10% to 20% of their tickets to tourists. He said the popular team has instituted restrictions on ticket sales.

He said the baseball attendance estimates were informed by surveys of fans of other American League West teams, and by data from what legislators were told were “comparable Major League Baseball teams.” He told me those comparable teams included the Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

“I don’t want to leave you with the impression that we somehow said the A’s are instantly going to be the Yankees or the Dodgers or the Red Sox,” Aguero said.

The Yankees and Dodgers and Red Sox are national brands. The A’s are a punchline, at least this season.

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They could flourish in Las Vegas, or they could flounder. Greg Maddux and Bryce Harper stand for a blossoming baseball heritage in a town where even triple-A baseball draws well. But the Golden Knights and Raiders — and the NBA team that awaits on land already secured for an arena — could suck up so many fan and corporate dollars that there might be too few left for the A’s in what still is a small market.

That would make success with tourists an imperative, not a bonus. This likely is Las Vegas’ best chance at a major league team, because expansion would be far more competitive and far more expensive. Still, the hundreds of millions of dollars in public subsidies essentially mean legislators would be gambling with taxpayer money.

A World Series would be worth it. But the Stanley Cup Finals are just as thrilling, and they open Saturday in Las Vegas.

Tweeted Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom: “ironic that the best men’s team in las vegas is the one that didn’t receive any public subsidy.”

Categories: Local News

King County issues debris burn ban as region sees warmer weather

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:40

King County's fire marshal issued a ban on yard debris and residential burning after assessing temperatures and moisture conditions.
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X-ray vision brings new life to a fossil flattened by time

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:39

It was clear that Oda was an ichthyosaur, but while most of its skeleton remained, eons under a muddy seafloor had squeezed it into a two-dimensional jumble of bones.
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Mike Preston’s Ravens observations on the offense’s poor day, missing Odell Beckham Jr. and more | COMMENTARY

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:38

Maybe the Ravens should have had a free bobblehead giveaway Thursday.

Team officials invited current and potential ticket holders to open practice in Owings Mills, but they probably didn’t sell many tickets afterward. The Ravens’ offense was pretty poor, especially the quarterback play.

Which quarterback was the worst?

Go ahead, pick one. It got so bad that midway through practice, the Ravens completed a roughly 15-yard pass and the crowd started to applaud.

True story.

Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, he of the sidearm delivery fame, had three passes knocked down and one interception late in which he threw to Andy Isabella when the wide receiver had two safeties draped all over him. There were times when Jackson stopped the play because something went wrong, either with the snap count, the formation or players in motion.

It’s apparent that a lot of patience will be needed to run this new offense.

Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was just as bad, overthrowing receivers as if they were as tall as 7-foot-6 former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming.

When the Ravens did have a receiver open, Tylan Wallace dropped a pass in the end zone.

It was that type of day.

Fourth-year wide receiver Devin Duvernay did have a strong performance, but giving out bobbleheads would have been more appropriate.

The Beckham file

Odell Beckham Jr., who signed with the Ravens in April and is expected to be the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, has yet to participate in any of the three practices open to the media.

Some fans questioned Jackson missing parts of the voluntary offseason training activities, especially with Todd Monken being named the new offensive coordinator to replace Greg Roman.

So, it’s fair to ask why Beckham hasn’t practiced and whether wide receivers coach Greg Williams has spoken with the former LSU star who signed a reported one-year, $15 million contract that could include another $3 million in incentives.

“Well, the conversations we’ve had I would rather keep between me and him,” Williams said. “But when he is here, he’s been positive. When he’s not been here, he’s been positive from that perspective too.”

We’ll just call Williams’ response a quick out pattern.

Simpson impresses

Trenton Simpson, selected in the third round out of Clemson, is usually the last of the linebackers to participate in individual drills. When you are a rookie, you have to know your place.

But while working on the two-man sled Thursday, he showed good initial power and quickness. He does have a strong motor and appears to be athletic. He can run, but we won’t know the full story on him until the Ravens put on full pads.

So far, so good.

Going big

The Ravens have their own version of a jumbo package on the offensive line.

At one point Thursday, the left side consisted of 6-5, 322-pound rookie guard Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and 6-8, 380-pound second-year tackle Daniel Faalele.

That’s a lot of beef, especially for players so young.

Likely story

I don’t know what plans the Ravens have for second-year tight end Isaiah Likely, but last year I strongly suggested that Roman put him on the outside and let the 6-6, 241-pound target go up and get the ball, especially on some back-shoulder fades.

I hope Monken tries it. Likely is too talented and creates way too many mismatches to be sitting on the bench. The Ravens will work on it.

Eyes on Ojabo

Second-year outside linebacker David Ojabo was limping early in practice and there were some other media members who noticed it.

It’s not good to have a player limping after he ruptured his Achilles tendon last March, so it’s something to keep an eye on.

Ojabo, though, had no trouble planting, pushing off or running around the corner against offensive tackles during the rest of the practice, so maybe it was just something minor he had to shake off.

Screen game

I’ve seen the Ravens run more screen passes in the past two practices than they have in the past three years.

They’ve run them with running backs and tight ends, and it seems as if they can’t get enough. I wonder if the trend will continue when the regular season starts.

The Ravens have always had the skill-position players to run those plays, but they’ve lacked athletic guards who are fast and athletic enough to make blocks or get down the field.

Guards Kevin Zeitler and Ben Cleveland are more power oriented than finesse players. If you want to see a good team run screens, check out the Kansas City Chiefs.

Before the Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers ran them to perfection with quarterback Brett Favre.

Harbaugh is hands on

Ravens coach John Harbaugh spent eight years as the Philadelphia Eagles’ special teams coach, and he still is hands on in that department.

The team usually has special teams working in the first half of practice and Harbaugh is somewhere in the middle giving instructions. The team has some of the best special teams play in the league with Chris Horton as the position coach, but it’s nice to have a head coach with the experience of Harbaugh being able to add a few wrinkles and some expertise.

Now, while on the subject of coaches, some team will eventually give Anthony Weaver, the Ravens’ top assistant, a head coaching job. Not only does Weaver have the right demeanor, but he also builds strong relationships with his players.

One of his biggest supporters is New York Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, who held the same role in Baltimore from 2018 to 2021.

Cornerback questions

The major criticism of second-year cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis when he was coming out of Alabama was that he couldn’t stay healthy. He struggled with injuries last season and so far hasn’t participated in team drills.

The assumption here is that he is hurt again, but the Ravens probably want to keep those conversations private because regardless of when Armour-Davis practices again, he has been positive.

Time for another quick out.

Flowers update

It wasn’t a great day for rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers as he dropped a couple of passes, but those things happen. I’m still convinced, if used properly, the first-round pick can make some big contributions in this offense.

“He’s an eager player, eager learner,” Lewis said. “Wants to be great at everything he does. His quickness and explosiveness show up daily.”


Categories: Local News

Giants GM Joe Schoen hires friend, ex-Titans exec Ryan Cowden as advisor

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:36

Ryan Cowden’s new title won’t fit easily on his business card, but he’s on board to help his friend, Giants GM Joe Schoen, try to build a winner in New York.

Cowden, 44, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, has joined the Giants as special advisor to the general manager, the team announced Thursday.

He and Schoen worked together as scouting assistants and area scouts for the Carolina Panthers from 2000-07.

They both interviewed for the Giants GM vacancy last year. The job went to Schoen, Brandon Beane’s assistant GM in Buffalo, and not Cowden, who was entering his fifth season as VP of player personnel under then-Titans GM Jon Robinson.

The Giants then beat Cowden’s Titans in Nashville in Week 1 in Schoen’s first regular season game as an NFL GM on Sept. 11, 2022.

The dramatic 21-20 comeback victory was led by Saquon Barkley, who is currently declining to sign his franchise tag tender due to his desire for a longer-term and more lucrative deal.

Cowden worked seven seasons for the Titans, the first two as director of player personnel, to help build Tennessee Into an AFC contender.

In his most recent role, he oversaw the Titans’ entire scouting department, both college and pro.

His Titans were built, interestingly enough, around a running back: Derrick Henry, a 2016 second-round pick. Safety Kevin Byard and tackle Jack Conklin also were important selections in Robinson’s first draft.

Coach Mike Vrabel arrived in 2018. Robinson traded for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and picked wide receiver A.J. Brown and DT Jeffrey Simmons in 2019. And the Titans reached the AFC Championship Game that year, before winning the AFC South back-to-back in 2020 and 2021 with a combined regular season record of 23-10.

The Giants borrowed heavily from those Titans teams, bringing safety Logan Ryan, corner Adoree Jackson and defensive tackle Austin Johnson to the Big Apple a few years back. Only Jackson remains on the roster.

The Titans’ drafting slipped in recent years, though, including the 2020 first-round selection of tackle Isaiah Wilson, a bust that the Giants inexplicably added and kept around for a bit in 2021.

Robinson then unwisely traded Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason. Tennessee had its first sub-.500 season (7-10) in Robinson’s and Cowden’s tenure, and Robinson was fired in December, which elevated Cowden to interim GM.

He held that title until Tennessee hired Ran Carthon, the San Francisco 49ers’ director of pro personnel, as their new GM in mid-January.

Eventually in May it became clear Cowden was definitely not going to remain in Tennessee.

His title with the Giants suggests he’s still being paid by the Titans and that it could evolve as he works with Schoen, director of player personnel Tim McDonnell, director of pro scouting Chris Rossetti and assistant director of player personnel Dennis Hickey.

In addition to Cowden, the Giants also announced the hiring of scouting assistant Isaiah Wingfield, a Harvard graduate (economics) and former first-team All-Ivy League defensive back who played his last two seasons at Wake Forest as a graduate transfer.

Wingfield, a native of Burlington, N.J., was a three-year starter at The Lawrenceville School before his standout NCAA career and now will call East Rutherford his new professional home.


Categories: Local News

Max Scherzer to MLB: Let the umps turn off the clock during warmups

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:35

Max Scherzer is never one to hold back about the modern state of baseball. The soon-to-be 37-year-old veteran right-hander has been involved in the league’s competition committee and labor negotiations.

So his 300-word rant about the pitch clock that came Thursday afternoon should come as no surprise.

The Mets completed the sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field with Scherzer on the mound. Around the fifth inning, he was seen engaging in conversation with home plate umpire Tripp Gibson. The crux of the issue was the pitch clock and how the strict 2:30 time limit between innings reduced the number of warmup pitches Scherzer was able to throw before the clock ran out. Scherzer threw seven pitches but wanted the eighth.

“You’re supposed to get eight warmup pitches and I had seven. I asked, ‘Can I get the eighth pitch? Can I get my normal routine, warmup?’” Scherzer said. “He’s telling me, ‘It’s the clock, it’s the clock.’ That’s what’s so frustrating. Look, I’m doing my normal routine. Why do we need to step through the game and have the umpires change routines when it’s not my fault of what’s going on here?

“I’m talking to Tripp and he’s sitting there saying, ‘I can’t do anything about it because if I let you throw the pitch, MLB gets mad at [me].’ This goes back to, why do we need a pitch clock for that situation?”

To be clear, Scherzer has long been in favor of initiatives to increase baseball’s pace of play. It’s not that he is against the clock, but he feels it should be more of a guideline. During spring training, he said that umpires should have the authority to turn off the clock and turn it on if the pace starts to drag.

“I just wish MLB would give the umpires the ability to turn the clock off,” Scherzer said after making a spring training start at Tropicana Field in March. “If you don’t see any violations, as long as the hitters are playing at speed, we’re all playing at pace, if the umpire wants to, let the umpire turn the clock off and we can just play baseball..”

While a timer was instituted in the minor leagues in 2015, this is the first time in the game’s history that a running clock has been instituted at its highest level. At its purist, baseball is a leisurely game that’s dictated by the pace of the pitchers. But MLB is also an entertainment league and a slow pace of play is an aspect that has turned younger viewers away.

The intention of the rule is necessary, says Scherzer, but the execution is flawed.

“If I throw one more pitch, what, I’m one second slower?” Scherzer said. “Why can’t the umpire have the discretion in that situation to allow the pitcher to throw his eight normal warmup pitches? Why do we have to be so anal about this to have the clock up in everybody’s face — shoved in everybody’s face and trying to stuff out every little single second that’s going through the game.

“It’s situations like that that are frustrating, not only to me but to pitchers, players and even the umpires.”

Scherzer said Gibson was sympathetic.

“Tripp is handcuffed. Why is Tripp handcuffed to not allow something normal? A normal routine? Why can’t Tripp make that call?” the three-time Cy Young Award winner said. “He was actually complimentary. He said, ‘Thank you for speaking out for the umpires,’ because the umpires want to have that discretion.’ They want to allow the game to be normal. But the umpires are as frustrated as we are that the game is not normal, that we’re just living and dying by a clock.”


Categories: Local News

Alameda County Superior Court judge robbed of his Rolex at gunpoint

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:12

OAKLAND — An Alameda County Superior Court judge was robbed of his Rolex watch at gunpoint Thursday morning while he was headed into a downtown Oakland courthouse.

The robbery happened near a parking structure at 13th and Madison streets, mere blocks from the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, authorities told this news organization. The judge was not injured.

Authorities had not announced any arrests as of Thursday afternoon and descriptions of the assailants and any associated vehicle were not immediately available.

The Alameda County Sherriff’s Office, which provides security at the courthouse, is investigating the brazen holdup.

Check back for updates

Categories: Local News

Idaho hospitals working to resume full operations after cyberattack

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:09

Two Idaho hospitals and their clinics are working to resume full operations after a cyberattack on their computer systems.
Categories: Local News

76ers to hire Nick Nurse as next head coach: reports

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:03

The Philadelphia 76ers are hiring former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, according to reports.

The Sixers and Nurse struck a deal Monday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Sixers selected Nurse to be the team’s new head coach weeks after parting ways with Doc Rivers, who still remains unsigned.

Nurse had been engaged with the Suns and Sixers throughout Sunday and Monday, according to ESPN.

The head coach was fired by the Raptors earlier this spring after the team went 41-41 and missed the postseason for the second time in three seasons. He spent five seasons in Toronto and won the 2019 NBA Finals after defeating the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The 55-year-old coach eliminated the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games before winning the championship that same season.

He now joins a Sixers squad that includes 2023 MVP Joel Embiid and looks to bring the franchise its first title in 40 years.

He brings a 227-163 (.582) record to Philadelphia. Nurse was also won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2020.


Categories: Local News

Michael Malone, long before coaching the Nuggets in the NBA Finals, was a fiery point guard at Loyola Maryland

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:02

They cannot help but laugh when they watch Michael Malone prowl the Denver Nuggets’ sideline, grinning wryly as he exhorts his players to defend or shouting himself hoarse as he demands justice from officials.

Peel away 30 years, and that sharp-witted, sharp-tongued bulldog is the same guy who used to design plays on the fly during practices at Reitz Arena. Former Loyola Maryland teammates knew Malone’s intense focus and rare basketball IQ long before most of the world caught on. So when they glimpse their old point guard coaching the best players in the world in the NBA Finals, they figure that’s just about right.

“We had a couple of kids of coaches on our team, but his basketball IQ was just through the roof,” recalled John Boney, who played with Malone for two years as a forward on those Loyola teams. “To where you would see some of the coaches on our team asking for Mike’s opinion, even as a freshman.”

Malone worked as a college and NBA assistant for almost 20 years before he became a head coach, first with the Sacramento Kings and then with the Nuggets, starting in 2015. His climb with Denver, building the sport’s most elegant offense around the unique talents of Nikola Jokic, has been nearly as deliberate.

Before any of that, however, he spent five years, from 1989 to 1994, sharpening his basketball mind in North Baltimore. He ran the offense for a Loyola team that found wins hard to come by and carved out time to volunteer as an assistant coach at Friends School.

Malone isn’t often asked about his college days, but he stays in touch with Loyola’s current coach, Tavaras Hardy — “One of the first ones to text me when we were in the Patriot League final,” Hardy noted on Glenn Clark Radio — and replies quickly to old teammates whenever they reach out.

The late Tom Schneider, who had just come to Loyola from Penn, recruited Malone from Worcester Academy, a Massachusetts prep school.

But the teenage point guard was pure New York, a Queens native who had grown up around the game as his father moved from coaching Power Memorial High School (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s alma mater) to a long career in the NBA. Brendan Malone worked with luminaries such as Patrick Ewing and Isaiah Thomas and was known as chief author of the “Jordan Rules,” the Detroit Pistons’ brutal plan for frustrating a young Michael Jordan.

“He was a stereotypical kid out of New York,” said Kevin Anderson, who played three seasons with Malone at Loyola and roomed with him on the road. “Didn’t have a driver’s license because he didn’t have a car, and there was no reason to have it. He had the accent. And the thing where you say he hasn’t changed, he tells it how it is.”

“The intensity that you see on TV now is the same we saw when he was 18 years old walking on the floor at Loyola,” Boney said. “The brashness, the confidence he had … he knew he could go in and not make mistakes.”

He remembered how Malone, nicknamed “Mo” in those days, almost seemed to see the future.

“We’re on the floor, and you could see he was thinking three, four spots ahead, just knowing where the ball was going to go or where each defender was going to be,” Boney said. “We’d be on the bench together, and he would say, ‘This is the play we should run.’ Then, we’d call a timeout, and next thing you know, we’re running that play.”

Sometimes, he’d draw it up on his hand, and teammates would see it become reality a few seconds later.

Mark Sparzak arrived at Loyola when Malone was a sophomore and remembers him as an extension of the coaching staff, a huge help to less astute teammates.

“A lot of us, I put myself in this category, were doers,” Sparzak said. “You told me what to do and then I played, where Mike was more cerebral. He understood strategy more than most of us, that’s for sure.”

They all assumed he would follow in his father’s footsteps (though Malone did consider becoming a Michigan state trooper before Pete Gillen hired him as an assistant at Providence in 1995).

“From a basketball standpoint, he was a typical coach’s son,” Anderson said. “Knew where he needed to be, where you needed to be, where everyone else on the court needed to be. There was just no question that he knew every phase of the game better than every other player on the team, no matter what year they were.”

Brendan Malone spent a lot of his professional life on the road, and Michael did not flaunt his father’s status in the sport. But teammates perceived the senior Malone’s influence. Boney remembered a blowout loss at Holy Cross where four NBA scouts approached Malone after the game and handed him 18 pages of notes on his play, much of it in garbage time.

“The detail that was in those notes,” Boney said, chuckling, “it was incredible — every step that he took on the court. And Mike internalized all of that.”

Off the court, he liked to have fun as much as the rest of them, finding distractions from Loyola’s run of losing seasons (the Greyhounds went 32-81 over Malone’s four years).

“Just a good guy to spend time with,” Sparzak said. “Whether you saw him in the library or you were going out for pizza, whatever the case may be. There was no filter. Anything that was on his mind, he’d tell you in that New York dialect.”

Malone spent most of his career as a reserve behind Loyola’s gifted point guard, Tracy Bergan. But when Bergan left for the 1992-93 season because of academic and personal troubles, Malone started 20 games for a 2-25 team, averaging a team-high 3.7 assists per game.

“It was not the career I would have hoped for, but at the same time looking back, Loyola was a great opportunity and a great school and I met some great people,” he told the university’s alumni magazine in 2013.

Malone graduated from Loyola with a history degree in 1994, a year after he finished playing, and during his last winter in Baltimore, he got a head start on his chosen career by assisting at Friends, where Randy Cooper was the coach.

“I remember when [Cooper] announced he had a former Division I point guard coming to help out, all the guys got excited,” former Friends player Atman Smith said. “Mike came in with so much swag. He had such a level of respect just because, I was young then, but it seemed like the entire time he was coaching with us, he made every single shot he took. He wasn’t one of those coaches that got in your face, yelling, but he demanded respect.”

Smith was a sophomore point guard and son of the great Southern High coach, Meredith Smith, so he was eager for the big-time feel Malone brought to Friends’ relatively low-key program.

“He honestly had us believing that we were better than we were,” he said.

Smith drifted away from basketball after college, but he and his brother, Ali, caught a glimpse of a Nuggets game in a bar a few years back. “We were like, ‘Yo, they just said Mike Malone. That can’t be our coach,’” he recalled, laughing. “And then we Googled it. We had no idea.”

The brothers sent him a letter, along with a book they published on the transformative powers of yoga and meditation, joking that Denver’s talent level couldn’t possibly match that of the 1993-94 Friends squad. Malone happily rekindled the relationship.

“He’s so thoughtful,” Smith said. “I texted him after they won the Western Conference, and I’m sure they were out celebrating, but he texted me back that night. … I think genuine people are going to succeed in life.”

Anderson, who lives in South Bend, Indiana, tries to get together with Malone when the Nuggets are in Chicago or Indianapolis. They talked shortly after Denver defeated the Los Angeles Lakers to advance to the NBA Finals.

“I heard pure joy,” Anderson said, “at having reached that pinnacle in his career.”

Anderson has converted family members and neighbors into Nuggets fans. Every playoff game is another chance to celebrate his former teammate. He laughed when comparing Malone the coach to the point guard of 30 years ago.

“I don’t know if you read lips during the Lakers series,” he said, alluding to one of Malone’s saltier outbursts at officials. “But yeah, it definitely feels like the same guy.”

Sparzak, who lives in Dallas, does not stay in touch as regularly, but Malone responded promptly to his congratulatory note after the Lakers series and has brought Nuggets players over to meet his old Loyola teammate after games against the Mavericks.

“He doesn’t have to respond to me,” Sparzak said. “But he’s an authentic person. I showed my son, and he said, ‘Mike Malone? The coach? He sent you an email?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we were pals in college.’”

“He’s the type of guy that you love to see in that position,” Anderson said. “Because all he’s done is work hard, be true to himself, and it’s reflected in the way the players interact with him, how much trust they have in him. He’s not much different than when we were teammates together at Loyola, and that’s impressive.”


Categories: Local News

Former Knicks star Carmelo Anthony announces NBA retirement

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:02

Carmelo Anthony, the Brooklyn-born former Knicks star who scored the ninth-most points in NBA history, announced his retirement Monday after 19 seasons.

The 10-time All-Star averaged 22.5 points per game for his career and helped revitalize a New York team that hadn’t posted a winning season in a decade before his arrival in 2011.

Anthony, 38, also played for the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers, last appearing in a game during the 2021-22 season.

“The time has come for me to say goodbye to the court where I made my name, to the game that gave me purpose and pride,” Anthony said in a video announcement. “With this bittersweet goodbye to the NBA, I am excited about what the future holds for me.”

Anthony played one season of college basketball with Syracuse, leading the Orange to an NCAA title in 2003. The Nuggets selected him third overall in the NBA Draft that year, and he finished second in rookie of the year voting to LeBron James.

The 6-foot-7 Anthony spent his first eight years with Denver before a mid-season trade in 2011 to the upstart Knicks, who had added fellow star forward Amar’e Stoudemire during the previous offseason. New York finished the 2010-11 season at 42-40 — their first winning record since 2000-01 — and made the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.

The Knicks were swept by the Celtics in their first-round series that year. They qualified again for the playoffs in 2011-12 but suffered another opening-round exit, falling in five games to the Miami Heat.

Anthony turned in his best season with the Knicks in 2012-13, leading the NBA with 28.7 points per game to clinch the only scoring title of his career. The Knicks finished as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and beat the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, marking their first postseason series win since 2000. They were knocked out in the second round by the Indiana Pacers.

The Knicks didn’t make the playoffs again during Anthony’s tenure, which ended with a trade to the Thunder during the 2017 offseason. Anthony averaged 24.7 points per game with the Knicks and was named to the All-Star team during each of his six full seasons with New York. His 62 points on Jan. 24, 2014, remain the Knicks’ and Madison Square Garden’s single-game record.

After starting every game he played with Denver, New York and Oklahoma City, Anthony transitioned to a bench role toward the end of his career. He scored 13.3 points per game for the Lakers during his final season.

Anthony scored 28,289 points in his career, made six All-NBA teams and was included on the league’s 75th-anniversary roster of the greatest players in history. He also won three Olympic gold medals with the Team U.S.A. basketball team and is second behind Kevin Durant with 336 career points across four Summer Games.

“When people ask what I believe my legacy is, it’s not my feats on the court that come to mind, nor the awards or praise, because my story has always been more than basketball,” Anthony said in his retirement video.

He then spoke about his son, 16-year-old Kiyan Anthony, who has received basketball offers from Division 1 colleges including Syracuse, Illinois and Indiana.

“My legacy, now and forever, lives on through you,” Anthony said.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver described Anthony as “one of the NBA’s all-time great players and ambassadors.” 

“We congratulate him on a remarkable 19-year career,” Silver said Monday, “and look forward to seeing him in the Hall of Fame.”


Categories: Local News