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Updated: 13 min 27 sec ago

Miss Manners: How can I make a guest commit to her RSVP?

49 min 9 sec ago

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have hosted several teas for five to eight friends, most of them around my age (mid-20s) or a little younger.

My difficulty is with RSVPs. Each time, I’ve had multiple guests tell me the day of the tea that they’re no longer able to attend — for reasons such as being tired, having work to get done or needing to go grocery shopping.

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I’ve gone to increasing lengths to formalize the event in the hope that that would build more commitment into the responses, with no success. For the most recent tea, I gave out formal handwritten invitations three weeks in advance, requested and received responses two weeks in advance, and still went from seven expected guests to four within hours of the event.

I haven’t wanted to invite more people than I can host and to expect last-minute cancellations, because it is, of course, always possible that everyone who accepts my invitation will come. I don’t want the possibility of not having a teacup, seat or scone for an expected guest.

It’s also been suggested to me that asking someone to bring a dish will make her presence feel more essential and thus make her more likely to attend. I haven’t wanted to pursue that course, either, because I very much prefer to host the tea rather than just organize it.

But I need to find some solution; neither my salary nor my energy allows for continuing to prepare for twice as many guests as will actually attend.

How can I, while being mannerly myself, request or instill a sense of commitment in my friends’ responses to my invitations?

GENTLE READER: Stop inviting the ones who consistently fail to show. That will likely be the only way to teach your guests commitment.

Asking them to bring a dish, Miss Manners agrees, is not wise. It not only compromises the pleasure of hosting, but also increases the chance that you will find yourself lacking in both a guest and something to serve for tea.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am going to visit my 28-year-old daughter and meet her new boyfriend, who is 41 and a Marine. I have invited them to lunch at an appropriate restaurant, and I intend to get the check.
I suspect the boyfriend will be a gentleman and insist on paying.

As the person who issued the invitation, should I insist? Or, as a lady, can I accept his gracious offer? It is very important to me that I make a proper impression.

GENTLE READER: As, one hopes, it will be for him.

You are correct that, as the person who issued the invitation, you should pay. However, if the gentleman insists, it will be better not to make a fuss and instead, graciously say, “Thank you. I hope that this is the first of many such occasions and that you will let us be the hosts next time.”

That is, Miss Manners warns, if he does indeed make that proper impression — and your daughter concurs.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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Dear Abby: He learned things in kindergarten that made him cry

1 hour 17 min ago

DEAR ABBY: My grandson is 6 and very sensitive, maybe too sensitive.

He’s also lovable, super scientific-minded, good-hearted and generous with his little sister. However, he still uses a diaper at night and has CVS (cyclical vomiting syndrome). It’s heartbreaking. For that reason, he’s on a special gluten-free, no-flour, no-chocolate diet.

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The other day at school (he is in kindergarten), they had a presentation with a magician about the danger of drugs and alcohol. Just to let you know, his parents are very much into teaching their kids morals and values, and they only let him watch cartoons like “Paw Patrol” and similar programs. No movies and no TV in general.

Abby, isn’t this too early to introduce the subject of drugs and alcohol to children in school? My grandson asked, “What are drugs and what is alcohol?” Long story short, he was super scared and started to cry in class.

The school called his parents and he came home devastated. We reassured him that in our homes there are no drugs, and alcohol is in a special cabinet only for adults who use it in moderation and only occasionally because it can hurt your body and mind.

Finally, he fell asleep still crying and took a short nap. He woke up still worried about the presentation, but Mom and Dad explained there was nothing to worry about, that he was living in a safe house and nobody would hurt him or Mom or Dad and no one in his family would be hurt by drugs or alcohol.

What is your opinion on this matter of super sensitivity? I love him so much.

— CONCERNED GRANDMA

DEAR CONCERNED: There are many super-sensitive adults who began life as super-sensitive children. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but children must learn to exist in and to navigate the increasingly complicated world in which they live.

Your grandson’s parents should have his pediatrician recommend a licensed child psychologist who can help the boy and his parents address the challenges ahead.

DEAR ABBY: My 34-year-old daughter is the youngest of three. She has never married and has no kids. Her friends, her older sister and both female cousins are all married.

She has been seeing a guy for about three years, but it’s a long-distance relationship. She lives in Washington state; he’s in California.

During this time, they split up once after he told her he didn’t think she was The One. After six months apart, they started seeing each other again. It has been a year now. When he asks, she flies down to see him.

My question is, how long should she stay in this relationship before getting engaged?

— CLOCK-WATCHING DAD

DEAR DAD: How long your 34-year-old daughter should stay in a relationship that appears to be headed nowhere is not for you or for me to decide.

She’s an adult who appears to have settled for a friends-with-benefits arrangement, or a “situationship.” If and when she finally concludes that it isn’t going to become anything more, she will move on.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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Five-bedroom home in Danville sells for $2.9 million

1 hour 47 min ago
111 Victoria Place - Google Street View111 Victoria Place – Google Street View

A spacious house located in the 100 block of Victoria Place in Danville has a new owner. The 3,892-square-foot property, built in 1999, was sold on May 11, 2023, for $2,850,000, or $732 per square foot. The property features five bedrooms, four bathrooms, an attached garage, and two parking spaces. It sits on a 0.3-acre lot, which also has a pool.

Additional houses that have recently been purchased close by include:

  • In March 2023, a 2,292-square-foot home on Mistral Court in Danville sold for $1,780,000, a price per square foot of $777. The home has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
  • A 4,305-square-foot home on the first block of Homestead Court in Danville sold in July 2022, for $2,925,000, a price per square foot of $679. The home has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.
  • On Homestead Court, Danville, in September 2022, a 4,305-square-foot home was sold for $2,904,545, a price per square foot of $675. The home has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.

 

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Person found dead near I-880 and Montague Expressway

2 hours 6 min ago

MILPITAS – A person was found dead at a homeless encampment near Interstate 880 and Montague Expressway on Thursday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The discovery was reported to the CHP around 6:20 p.m., said CHP Officer Ross Lee.

The person was not killed in a traffic collision and foul play is not suspected, Lee said.

Check back for updates.

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NorCal baseball regionals: In an extra-inning classic, De La Salle survives against Franklin-Elk Grove

2 hours 17 min ago

CONCORD – It was one of those rare contests that lived up to the pre-game hype. And then some.

When No. 2 seed De La Salle scored a run in the ninth to beat third-seeded Franklin 6-5 in the semifinals of the CIF NorCal Division I semifinals Thursday, fans who were on the edge of their seats for most of the game stood up and gave the players a rousing ovation.

Tanner Griffith’s single to right-center in the bottom of the ninth drove in pinch-runner Joe McGee for the winning score. Reliever Cal Randall was the winning pitcher, working the final 2⅔ innings after starter RJ Meyn went the first 6⅓ frames.

De La Salle (26-5) takes on Valley Christian Saturday for the D-I championship. Franklin finished the season at 30-5.

The game was an encore to the hype before the first pitch.

Both starting pitchers, juniors Meyn from De La Salle and Nic Abraham from Franklin, came into the contest with 10-0 records. They departed before either could get a decision.

Franklin had won 16 games in a row before Thursday’s meeting with De La Salle. It was last defeated on April 6 by St. Mary’s-Stockton.

De La Salle was 28-0 in North Coast Section and NorCal playoff competition since 2016.

The spectaculars continued when the teams took the field.

The Spartans jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, scoring on an error and a passed ball. The Wildcats answered with three in the top of the third to go ahead 3-2.

Back came De La Salle in the bottom of the third. Freshman Tyler Spangler tripled. Smith Chandler singled home Spangler, then moved to second on a single by Griffith.

Chandler and Griffith executed a double steal, and Chandler scored on a ground out by Connor Harrison. The Spartans were back on top 4-3.

Franklin evened the count at 4-4 with a run in the fourth. It stayed that way until the sixth, when Harrison, the younger brother of Giants top prospect, left-hander Kyle Harrison, drilled the first pitch of the inning over the left field fence to make it 5-4.

“It was my third at-bat,” Harrison said. “They were throwing me nothing but sliders and curves. I had a couple of ugly swings. I finally hit a slider.”

The homer was his third of the season. He leads De La Salle with 35 RBI and has a .415 batting average.

De La Salle’s lead lasted for exactly one batter. The second hitter up in the top of the seventh, Delta League Player of the Year Nolan Stevens, homered to left to make it 5-5.

De La Salle coach David Jeans opted to start the seventh with Meyn.

“They had two left-handed hitters leading off, and he (Meyn) had done well against them,” the coach explained.

They were a combined 2 for 6 with two runs scored, but the second run was the result of an error. Stevens, however, is a Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospect and has signed a letter of intent to Mississippi State.

Meyn was immediately taken out after Stevens’ home run. He worked 6⅓ innings, allowing seven hits, four runs (three earned) and struck out five.

“I was coming off a little bit of short rest, throwing 108 pitches less than a week ago,” said Meyn, a Santa Clara commit. “I didn’t totally have the change up today, but I battled through that and gave it the best I had.”

Randall, who hadn’t pitched since May 16, was superb. He walked the first batter he faced,, then retired seven in a row before allowing a two-out single by Stevens in the ninth.

Asked why he hadn’t pitched for two weeks, the UCLA-bound right-hander said, “Weird things. I I had a little bump in the road. I’m back. It’s all good.”

Randall, also rated on the Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects, said he was sharp with his fastball and curve.

“I was throwing my fastball a little extra fast,” he said.

The game-winning rally began with Spangler drawing a leadoff walk. McGee, the pinch-runner, took off for second on a walk to Chandler and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Franklin catcher, who thought Chandler was trying to steal second.

Griffith then launched a deep fly to right-center. The Franklin outfield was playing shallow and the ball landed untouched for the game-winning hit.

“I hit a changeup,” Griffith said. “I saw it and did my thing.”

It looked like the game would end in the eighth when De La Salle loaded the bases with nobody out, But sophomore Dylan Wood replaced Abraham (113 pitches) and ended the threat by striking out two batters and getting the other out on a pop out to second.

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NorCal softball regionals: Freshman pitcher, new hero lead Willow Glen into D-II title game

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 21:40

SAN JOSE — Freshman right-hander Alanna Clincy was up to the challenge in the biggest game in Willow Glen softball history.

Clincy pitched a two-hit shutout Thursday as Willow Glen defeated Bullard of Fresno 1-0 in the Northern California regional Division II semifinals. The Rams will host No. 3 seed Notre Dame-Salinas on Saturday at 4 p.m. for the NorCal D-II championship. Notre Dame advanced with a 3-0 win in eight innings over No. 2 seed East Nicolaus.

“It’s super exciting for our school because it’s the furthest we’ve been in Willow Glen history,” senior catcher McKenna Campbell said.

Clincy retired the first 11 batters she faced before issuing a pair of walks with two out in the fourth. She got the next batter on a pop out to get out of that mini-jam. Bullard didn’t get its first hit off her until there were two out in the fifth.

Clincy improved to 12-3 on the season. She’s allowed 51 hits in 112 ⅔ innings while striking out 177.

“She pitched super good,” Campbell, her catcher, said. “We have high expectations for her because we know how good she can be.”

“My defense backed me up again,” Clincy said. “I’m really tired but I’m glad to get the win. Try to keep it going one more game.”

The game was still scoreless until Willow Glen came up in the bottom of the sixth. Campbell led off with a double into the left-field corner. Sienna Wilson bunted her over to third and then shortstop Aleki Ulu came up with the infield in and hit a screaming liner off the third baseman’s glove for a single to score the only run of the game.

“It’s somebody different every time,” Willow Glen coach Don Spingola said. “That’s what makes this team so special. It’s a complete team effort. We don’t have one person that carries this team. Every time it’s a surprise to us who is going to step forward. That’s what’s exciting about this team, a different person every time.”.

That one run turned out to be all Willow Glen (22-7) needed.

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“When Alanna’s pitching the way she is, you almost only need to get one run for her,” Spingola said.

Clincy allowed a leadoff single in the top of the seventh but induced the next batter to ground into a force out at second. Bullard’s Betsy Woodward stole second and went to third on a pitch in the dirt. But Clincy got a strikeout and recorded the final out on a popup that first baseman Faamaai Ulu ran down in foul territory.

On to the NorCal finals.

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Three killed in stabbings in San Jose, Milpitas; suspect arrested

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 21:27

SAN JOSE — Three people were killed in separate stabbings Thursday in San Jose and Milpitas, police said.

A suspect was arrested in connection with the stabbings, according to the San Jose and Milpitas police departments.

San Jose police said two stabbings were reported in San Jose — one around 3:10 p.m. at Kooser Road and Dellwood Way and the second around 3:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Hillsdale Avenue.

A third stabbing was reported in the 400 block of Jacklin Road, Milpitas police said. A suspect was arrested near the scene.

“We believe that their suspect is linked to the crimes that occurred earlier today in San Jose,” San Jose police said in a tweet. “Our detectives are providing assistance and following up.”

The victim in the Jacklin Road stabbing died of their injuries, Milpitas police said in a tweet, adding that “SJPD had two additional homicides in their city which may be associated.”

San Jose police said the suspect left the scene of the second stabbing in the victim’s vehicle and hit a pedestrian. The pedestrian’s injuries were described as not life-threatening.

Additional details about the stabbings, including a motive, were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

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NorCal baseball, softball: Thursday’s semifinal results, Saturday’s schedule

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 21:15
CIF NorCal baseball regionals

Division I

Thursday’s semifinals

No. 1 Valley Christian 2, No. 4 Cardinal Newman 1

No. 2 De La Salle 6, No. 3 Franklin-Elk Grove 5, 9 innings

Saturday’s final

No. 2 De La Salle (26-5) at No. 1 Valley Christian (31-3), 1 p.m.

Division II

Thursday’s semifinals

No. 4 St. Ignatius (18-12) 5, No. 8 Bellarmine 1

No. 3 Casa Grande (24-5) 9, No. 2 Pleasant Valley-Chico 6

Saturday’s final

No. 4 St. Ignatius (19-12) at No. 3 Casa Grande (25-5), 1 p.m.

Division III

Thursday’s semifinals

No. 5 Oakmont-Roseville 6, No. 1 Carmel 1

No. 2 Central Catholic-Modesto 7, No. 6 Arcata 4

Saturday’s final

No. 5 Oakmont-Roseville (21-13) at No. 2 Central Catholic-Modesto (23-8-1), 4 p.m.

Division IV

Thursday’s semifinals

No. 1 Sutter  6, No. 5 Hillsdale 5

No. 3 Gridley 2, No. 7 Stevenson 0

Saturday’s final

No. 3 Gridley (17-5) at No. 1 Sutter (25-5-1), 4 p.m.

Division V

Thursday’s semifinals

No. 5 Lowell 7, No. 1 Ripon Christian-Ripon 6

No. 2 University-San Francisco 6, No. 3 Etna 1

Saturday’s final

No. 5 Lowell (17-10) vs. No. 2 University-San Francisco (23-8) at Paul Goode Field, 4 p.m.

CIF NorCal softball regionals

Division I

Thursday’s semifinal

No. 1 Hollister 3, No. 4 Whitney-Rocklin 2

No. 2 St. Francis 1, No. 3 Central-Fresno 0, 9 innings

Saturday’s final

No. 2 St. Francis (28-3) at No. 1 Hollister (29-3), 4 p.m.

Division II

Thursday’s semifinal

No. 1 Willow Glen 1, No. 4 Bullard 0

No. 3 Notre Dame Salinas 3, No. 2 East Nicolaus 0

Saturday’s final

No. 3 Notre Dame Salinas (22-7) at No. 1 Willow Glen (22-7), 4 p.m.

Division III

Thursday’s semifinal

No. 1 Ponderosa 7, No. 4 Pinole Valley 1

No. 2 Central Catholic-Modesto 8, No. 3 Pleasant Valley-Chico 1

Saturday’s final

No. 2 Central Catholic-Modesto (29-4) at No. 1 Ponderosa (25-4-1), 4 p.m.

Division IV

Thursday’s semifinal

No. 5 Orestimba 5, No. 1 University Prep-Redding 2

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No. 3 Capital Christian-Sacramento 12, No. 2 Fowler 5

Saturday’s final

No. 5 Orestimba (25-4) at No. 3 Capital Christian-Sacramento (18-5), 4 p.m.

Division V

Thursday’s semifinal

No. 1 Live Oak 10, No. 5 Los Molinos 0

No. 2 North Salinas 11, No. 3 Stone Ridge Christian 1

Saturday’s final

No. 2 North Salinas (15-12) at No. 1 Live Oak (14-11), 4 p.m.

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NorCal softball regionals: St. Francis endures nine-inning thriller to reach Division I final

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 20:45

MOUNTAIN VIEW – Two great pitchers loomed large over St. Francis and Central-Fresno’s extra-inning softball duel in Mountain View. 

With a trip to Hollister for the NorCal Division I championship on the line, Central’s Mia Nishikawa and the home team’s Kate Munnerlyn traded punchouts, popups and powerful fastballs while zeroes piled up on the scoreboard. 

Seven innings weren’t enough for the two powerhouses, the game stretching into the bottom of the ninth with the semifinal still scoreless. 

Silhouetted by golden hour light, Rebecca Quinn finally put an end to the pitcher’s duel as the third batter in the frame, her slap into right field driving Jaime Oakland across the plate and giving St. Francis a 1-0 victory.  

“Wherever the ball was, I just had to get my bat on it and get solid contact so we could score,” Quinn said. “We knew it was going to be difficult.”

MOUNTAIN VIEW - St. Francis player Jaime Oakland scores the winning run in hte ninth inning before running to celebrate the victory with teammates. St. Francis and Central-Fresno played in a NorCal Division I high school softball game at St. Francis high school in Mountain View Calif. on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)MOUNTAIN VIEW – St. Francis player Jaime Oakland scores the winning run in the ninth inning before running to celebrate the victory with teammates. St. Francis and Central-Fresno played in a NorCal Division I high school softball game at St. Francis high school in Mountain View Calif. on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

The defending NorCal Division I champions threw a pregame curveball to the visitors, starting Chloe Cummings instead of aces Munnerlyn or Shannon Keighran. 

But the Grizzlies, who last season made it all the way to the Division III NorCal final, weren’t going to be rattled by unexpected roster moves. 

Cummings threw two and one-thirds scoreless innings, but after the first two runners got on in the third inning, coach Mike Oakland asked Munnerlyn to get out of one of the Lancers’ few jams. 

She answered the call by striking out the last two batters of the frame.

“After going through the lineup with Chloe and seeing how their batters were swinging at the ball, it just mentally prepared me to be out on the mound,” Munnerlyn said. 

Munnerlyn breezed through the rest of the game, striking out nine and allowing just one hit. Nishikawa was just as brilliant, striking out 11 while pitching the whole game. 

“She’s fantastic,” Quinn said about Nishikawa. “The ball was all over the plate … moving in and out, we didn’t know what to expect.”

Munnerlyn operated calmly with traffic on the base, stranding the leadoff hitter on second base with three strikeouts in the top of the eighth, and then leaving a Central player on third in the top of the ninth. 

By the bottom of the ninth, the St. Francis lineup had seen Nishikawa four times, and the Lancers bats finally made solid contact. 

Oakland led things off with a line drive into right field for a double, and O’Gorman collected her second hit of the game to put runners on the corners with no outs. 

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On a 2-2 count, Quinn lined a pitch into center field and guaranteed a rematch with No. 1 seed Hollister. 

“I was in the (on-deck) circle, and I personally was like ‘Oh gosh, please Becca get on” because I didn’t want to be put into that situation,” Munnerlyn said. 

St. Francis improved to 28-3, and Central-Fresno ended its season 27-6. 

Though his team walked off the field as losers, Gorton focused on his team’s gritty play before embarking on the trip back to Fresno. 

“I know how quality their team is, and to be able to compete with those girls was a great experience,” Gorton said. “I’m proud of my girls.”

Hollister defeated Whitney-Rocklin 3-2 in the other semifinal. The Balers defeated St. Francis 4-0 in the CCS Open Division championship less than a week earlier, and the Lancers’ stars were adamant lessons had been learned.

Its coach expects a hard-fought game. 

“We’re going to have to do the same thing we did today, and hope we end up on the right side of it,” Mike Oakland said.

MOUNTAIN VIEW - St. Francis player Rebecca Quinn (12) claps and laughs in the postgame huddle. St. Francis and Central-Fresno played in a NorCal Division I high school softball game at St. Francis high school in Mountain View Calif. on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)MOUNTAIN VIEW – St. Francis player Rebecca Quinn (12) claps and laughs in the postgame huddle. St. Francis and Central-Fresno played in a NorCal Division I high school softball game at St. Francis high school in Mountain View Calif. on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
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Nuggets seize Game 1 of NBA Finals behind Nikola Jokic’s triple-double

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 20:11

Nikola Jokic turned his back and went to work like he’d done a thousand times already this magical season. His buttery, turnaround jumper, within spitting distance of Miami’s bench, ended the drama late Thursday night.

Denver seized Game 1 of the NBA Finals with an impressive, workmanlike effort against Miami. Its 104-93 victory was a product of staunch and stingy defense. Outside of a lackluster fourth quarter, where Miami made its final push, the Nuggets were dominant defensively.

And they got more than enough from their stars, as Nikola Jokic recorded his ninth triple-double of the postseason. His 27-point, 14-assist, 10-rebound effort drew roars from the raucous crowd once it was secured in the fourth quarter.

Jamal Murray finished with 26 points and 10 assists, and Michael Porter Jr., despite a rough 3-point shooting night, registered a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double. The boards tied his postseason career high.

Bam Adebayo finished with 26 points, but the Heat barely shot over 40%. Jimmy Butler managed just 13 points on 6-for-14 shooting from the field. Aaron Gordon deserved the credit for that smothering. Offensively, Gordon was an X-factor, too, with 16 points and most of his damage inside.

The Nuggets can stake a 2-0 lead come Sunday evening.

It was impossible to know how the Nuggets’ extended break before the Finals might impact their game, but in the week leading up to tip-off, to a man, they swore their practices were sharp and focused. When Michael Malone quizzed his team at shootaround Thursday morning on coverages and personnel, he said they aced his questions. With that, Malone had even more evidence that his team used the time off productively.

In the third quarter, their rotations were crisp and determined. They recovered for each other, rotated when applicable and, as a result, found pay dirt in transition. When the Nuggets play swarming defense — like when Gordon swatted Max Strus’ shot into the first row — they don’t even need much accompanying offense. Yet they had it. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope buried a transition 3-pointer, while Jokic and Murray engineered their two-man game. If that wasn’t enough, Porter and Bruce Brown found their stroke. Denver’s lead ballooned to 24 late in the third, and the Nuggets held a commanding 84-63 lead going into the fourth.

Malone was curiously calm prior to Thursday’s tipoff.

“It’s really funny, I was hanging out with one of my daughters last night, and she said, ‘Are you nervous?’ And I said, ‘You know what’s really funny? I’m not.’ I said, ‘I think the reason that I’m not nervous is because I know we’re prepared.’”

Malone was at ease in front of a giant throng of national media, cracking jokes and turning down the temperature despite the magnitude of the game.

“I know this is the Finals and this is Game 1; I never knew this part of the building existed,” he said, referencing a portion of the arena that was never necessary before the NBA descended on Denver.

The Nuggets played the first half with the same poised disposition their coach had before the game. On defense, they swarmed. On offense, they hunted mismatches with glee. It yielded a 59-42 halftime lead that was every bit as dominant as the score indicated.

Against the smaller Heat, Denver attacked the paint and leaned heavily on Gordon’s size and strength. Miami had no answer for his bully ball tactics.

Murray bobbed and weaved around screens, picking apart the Heat defenders from all three levels. He had a team-high 18 at the break.

“For Jamal, it just seems like as the stakes get higher and the stage gets bigger, he embraces that,” Malone said. “He doesn’t shy away from that.”

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Of course, Jokic was at the helm of Denver’s rollicking offense. Rather than shoot, he facilitated, racking up 10 assists in the first half alone. When the Nuggets hustled in transition, it forced mismatches that Jokic was more than happy to exploit. And even in halfcourt sets, he peppered the paint with precision.

But perhaps the most impressive was Porter, who flashed rare athleticism on both ends of the floor. If he wasn’t swatting shots, then he was hammering emphatic dunks that looked and felt like his physical limitations were behind him.

After one, Porter screamed. Denver’s pulsating crowd roared back.

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Gilroy man arrested in connection with February shooting

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 20:06

GILROY — A SWAT team on Thursday arrested a 46-year-old Gilroy man in connection with a shooting earlier this year and seized a cache of unregistered guns, police said.

On Feb. 24, the victim reported being involved in a minor collision with another driver at Leavesley Road and Monterey Highway, according to the Gilroy Police Department. The suspect reportedly refused to exchange insurance information and the victim followed him through different parts of the city until he eventually stopped.

When the victim pulled over, the suspect drew a gun and fired several shots in their direction, police said. The victim escaped injury but their vehicle was struck several times.

Detectives identified the suspect as Arturo Lara and obtained a search warrant for his home in the 9000 block of Ridgeway Drive.

In addition to arresting Lara at his home on Thursday, the Gilroy-Morgan Hill SWAT team seized ammunition and numerous unregistered firearms, including ghost guns, high-powered rifles and high-capacity magazines, according to police.

Lara was booked into Santa Clara County jail on attempted murder and weapon charges.

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Anyone with information related to the case can contact Detective Chris Silva at 408-846-0335 or the tip line at 408-846-0330.

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NorCal baseball playoffs: Freshman’s masterpiece leads St. Ignatius to semifinal win over Bellarmine

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 20:02

PACIFICA — St. Ignatius freshman pitcher Chase Gordon had 24 hours to mentally prepare for his first-ever varsity start.

That start came in the NorCal Division II semifinals — and the 15-year-old delivered a masterpiece.

The left-handed Gordon pitched a complete game to lead the Wildcats to a 5-1 win over Bellarmine on Thursday at Fairmont Field in Pacifica and lead SI to Saturday’s regional championship game at Casa Grande-Petaluma.

“He’s just a ballplayer, man,” SI coach Brian Pollzzie said. “You can’t tell he’s 15 out there. He had a little swagger out there and he was locating, catching them off-balance.”

St. Ignatius pitcher Chase Gordon (19) looks skywards as he celebrates their 5-1 win over Bellarmine High in their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius pitcher Chase Gordon (19) looks skywards as he celebrates their 5-1 win over Bellarmine High in their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

Gordon scattered six hits and one walk across his seven innings, only allowing one unearned run. While Gordon was barely touching 80 miles per hour with his fastball, he mixed in offspeed pitches and seemed to keep a Bellarmine team that wasn’t expecting him to pitch at bay all afternoon.

“He threw really well,” Bellarmine coach Nate Sutton said, adding that Gordon’s start “came out of the blue” to the Bells. “He definitely didn’t act like a freshman. He didn’t get caught up in the moment at all. Usually, young guys, it’s easy to get them rattled. But him, not at all.”

It’s been quite a run this postseason for Gordon. SI junior Rocco Giometti said the Wildcat upperclassmen gained a ton of confidence in the freshman when he threw two shutout innings to pick up the save against bitter rival Sacred Heart Cathedral on May 10. Gordon followed that up with 5.1 innings of shutout relief work in the CCS semifinals against Valley Christian on May 24.

“It’s insane,” Giometti said. “He’s such a good kid, too. He just stays ready. He’s a great kid, he has dirty stuff. He’s just mature for his age and he just gets it done.”

The Wildcats offense helped get Gordon into cruise control by putting up five runs in the first three innings on Bellarmine’s hard-throwing starter Paul Montgomery by focusing on going the other way.

Giometti got things started with one out and a runner on second in the first, poking a hard grounder down the left-field line for a run-scoring double. But even with the team’s approach, the left-handed hitter said he can’t remember ever poking a ball so tightly down the opposite foul line.

“That surprised me myself a little bit,” Giometti said. “During practice, we had a lot of preparation hitting that outside pitch. It just worked out today because of our preparation.”

Left-handed Nico Gomozias also went to left field with a single two hitters later, with Giometti barely scoring when Bellarmine catcher Ryan Bays couldn’t corral the throw home.

St. Ignatius' Rocco Giometti (25) dives safely at home to score against Bellarmine catcher Ryan Bays (7) in the third inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius’ Rocco Giometti (25) dives safely at home to score against Bellarmine catcher Ryan Bays (7) in the third inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

The Bells would get their lone run of the day with two outs in the third. Leadoff hitter Nolan Randol reached on an error by SI, then got to second when Gordon was called for a balk. Bellarmine senior Chase Knight scored Randol with a single to center.

But Gordon got a strikeout looking to end the inning and the Wildcats immediately attacked again. Giometti led off the inning with an opposite-field single and stole second before senior Leonard Beatie walked.

Gomozias then hit a comebacker to Montgomery, but the pitcher’s throw to second to try and turn a double play went into center field, allowing Giometti to race in from second for a run and ending Montgomery’s day.

“They’ve seen him a few times and obviously he’s a little funky, so they were prepped for him,” Sutton said of Montgomery. “But he’s been our guy all year, with tremendous numbers.

“We had our guy on the mound and some breaks here, breaks there, balls fall and we don’t make plays and that’s baseball. We only scored one run on [Gordon] anyways, so it was going to be tough.”

St. Ignatius' Rocco Giometti (25) celebrates after diving and scoring against Bellarmine catcher Ryan Bays (7) in the third inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius’ Rocco Giometti (25) celebrates after diving and scoring against Bellarmine catcher Ryan Bays (7) in the third inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

The Wildcats tacked on two more on Bellarmine reliever Luke Rooney in the third to push the lead to four runs. That would prove to be more than enough for Gordon, who was very expressive after finishing the sixth inning because he wasn’t sure he’d get to head back out on the mound.

“I was thinking, ‘Maybe, by chance, I’ll get to get a couple of outs in the seventh, but if this is my last out of the game, might as well make it a good one,’” Gordon said.

But Gordon was only at 88 pitches after six, so Pollzzie decided to give Gordon three more batters to finish the game off. Gordon retired the first two but the third reached base on a tough grounder to shortstop, but Pollzzie gave him one more batter.

On Gordon’s 102nd pitch of the game, he induced a grounder to short. When the forceout was record at second, the freshman threw his cap and glove skyward, his masterpiece complete.

St. Ignatius pitcher Chase Gordon (19) looks skywards as he celebrates their 5-1 over Bellarmine High in their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius pitcher Chase Gordon (19) looks skywards as he celebrates their 5-1 over Bellarmine High in their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

Gordon said he dedicated this win to his senior teammates.

“For this to be their last game at this field, hopefully it was a special one,” Gordon said.

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Bellarmine’s season ends at 21-13-1 and there were several players in tears after the game. But Sutton implored for the senior-heavy team to remember what they accomplished — like a CCS Division II championship and a wild NorCal quarterfinal win.

“The seniors are a great group of kids, they’re going to be sorely missed,” Sutton said. “We said, ‘We’ll be forever remembered. You’ll have your 2023 [title] on the wall.’ We accomplished a huge goal, winning CCS.”

SI didn’t get the CCS title in Division I. But they’ll get a chance to win the NorCal title at 1 p.m. on Saturday, making the trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to Casa Grande in Petaluma.

And thanks to Gordon’s effort, they’ll seemingly have their whole pitching staff ready to go.

“When you put a freshman out there and it’s their first start, you never know what you’re going to get,” Pollzzie said. “You see something in a kid, you see it in practice, but we hadn’t seen it in a big game like that. You think a kid has it in him, but you don’t know.

“He proved everything today that we thought about him. He really stepped up.”

St. Ignatius' Rocco Giometti (25) celebrates with teammates after diving at home and scoring against Bellarmine High in the third inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius’ Rocco Giometti (25) celebrates with teammates after diving at home and scoring against Bellarmine High in the third inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)  St. Ignatius' Emmett  Johnson (16) fails to steal second ahead of Bellarmine's Chase Knight (13) in the sixth inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius’ Emmett Johnson (16) fails to steal second ahead of Bellarmine’s Chase Knight (13) in the sixth inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)  Bellarmine's Lucas Lipari (2 ) and Nolan Randol (4) can't control a flyball hit by St. Ignatius' Gus  Parker (5) in the second inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)Bellarmine’s Lucas Lipari (2 ) and Nolan Randol (4) can’t control a flyball hit by St. Ignatius’ Gus Parker (5) in the second inning of their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)  St. Ignatius High baseball players point skywards as they celebrate their 5-1 over Bellarmine High in their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)St. Ignatius High baseball players point skywards as they celebrate their 5-1 over Bellarmine High in their CIF NorCal Division II baseball semifinal game at St. Ignatius sports complex in Pacifica, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
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NorCal baseball regionals: Valley Christian edges Cardinal Newman to reach D-I final

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:45

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)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)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)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)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.

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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)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)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’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)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) 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)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) 
Categories: Local News

Three Bay Area kids, all sponsored by the same Rotary club, make it to National Spelling Bee finals

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:05

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)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)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.

  • Shradha Rachamreddy, 13, from San Jose, Calif., competes during the...

    Shradha Rachamreddy, 13, from San Jose, Calif., competes during the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Vikrant Chintanaboina, 14, from San Jose, Calif., competes during the...

    Vikrant Chintanaboina, 14, from San Jose, Calif., competes during the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Dhruv Subramanian, 12, from San Ramon, Calif., competes during the...

    Dhruv Subramanian, 12, from San Ramon, Calif., competes during the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Vikrant Chintanaboina, 14, from San Jose, Calif., competes during the...

    Vikrant Chintanaboina, 14, from San Jose, Calif., competes during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

  • Dhruv Subramanian, 12, from San Ramon, Calif., reacts after his...

    Dhruv Subramanian, 12, from San Ramon, Calif., reacts after his turn during the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

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“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.”

Categories: Local News

Why are homeowners moving to Sacramento?

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 19:00

Finding the perfect location to settle down and purchase a new construction home is an exciting yet sometimes challenging decision in any homeowner’s life. While the Bay Area has long been a popular choice for some homeowners in California, the vibrant city of Sacramento has been steadily drawing attention to potential buyers over recent years. With its booming economy and a thriving cultural scene, Sacramento presents a perfect choice for those seeking a fresh start in a new construction home by our team at Elliott Homes.

This is Plan 1945 at the brand-new Laurel at Elliott Springs community in Elk Grove. Pricing starts in the low $600,000s.This is Plan 1945 at the brand-new Laurel at Elliott Springs community in Elk Grove. Pricing starts in the low $600,000s. 

Sacramento is the capital city of California and offers an enviable quality of life that caters to a diverse range of interests. With a perfect blend of urban excitement and a welcoming community atmosphere, the city has something for everyone to enjoy — especially new homeowners. From a thriving arts and culture scene to world-class dining establishments, shopping centers and entertainment venues, Sacramento guarantees an exciting lifestyle for homeowners seeking both relaxation and adventure.

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.

Sacramento is not just a great place to live; it also offers an abundance of employment opportunities. The city has seen significant growth and is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, government offices and flourishing industries such as health care, education, technology and agriculture — and the presence of major employers ensures that new homeowners in Sacramento will enjoy a stable economy and ample career prospects.

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.

The final and perhaps most important reason as to why potential homeowners are moving to Sacramento is the fact that our team at Elliott Homes has built a variety of exceptional new-home communities for them to set down their roots. Throughout the area, potential buyers will be able to explore our new-home communities of Alder, Manzanita and Ponderosa at Saratoga Estates, Heritage at Gum Ranch, Laurel at Elliott Springs, Placer and Sutter at Rio Del Oro, and Turkey Creek Estates in order to find the ideal new home that fits their exact needs.

With its diverse job market, high quality of life and excellent location, Sacramento is truly an exceptional city to set down your roots in California. If you’re ready to take the next step toward finding your new home within the greater Sacramento area today with the help of our team at Elliott Homes, give us a call at (866) 984-1300 or fill out our online form today.

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Categories: Local News

Investigation underway into in-custody death at Milpitas jail

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 17:31

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.

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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.

Categories: Local News

Women’s College World Series: Stanford softball can’t break No. 1 Oklahoma’s win streak

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 17:28

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.

Stanford got two on with one out in the fifth against Bahl but could not score.

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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

Categories: Local News

Records show frantic aftermath of Jeffrey Epstein’s death

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 17:11

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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“He was still left in the same cell with a broken toilet,” the jail’s chief psychologist wrote in a email the next day. “Please move him to the cell next door when he returns from legal as the toilet still does not work.”

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.

Categories: Local News

Trump, DeSantis trade jabs on the campaign trail

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:57

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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On Thursday afternoon, he was set to record a town hall with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity in the Des Moines suburb of Clive. The town hall will air at 9 p.m. Thursday.

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.

Categories: Local News

Mission Peak Village creates new Bay Area housing and intergenerational connections

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 16:35

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. 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

 

 

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