Peter Shumlin was sworn in this afternoon as the state’s 81st governor. His speech hit on the major themes from the long, heated campaign; a campaign in which both the primary and the general election went down to the wire. After thanking many people, including his predecessor, Jim Douglas, who received a rousing standing ovation, Governor Shumlin talked about jobs, his plan on how to get them, keep them and grow them. Among the major points were bringing broadband and cell coverage to every corner of the state by 2013; initiating a single-payer health care system to take the burden of cost off employers; and finally saying that there will not be any tax increase and even going farther by saying that Vermonters are over-burdened already by the level of taxation. He said he will endeavor to change the “patchwork” tax structure: “Our choices about taxes directly impact job growth. Vermont’s tax challenge is not that our burden is not high enough; it is that our tax burden is too high.”Inaugural Address of Governor Peter ShumlinJanuary 6, 2011Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, fellow Vermonters:Thank you. It is an honor to stand before you today.Thank you, Governor Douglas, for 38 years of exemplary public service to the Green Mountain state. We are grateful for your hard work and sacrifice on our behalf and to Dorothy and your family for sharing so much of your life with us.Thank you to Brian Dubie for your service as Lieutenant Governor for the past eight years. While Brian and I had a spirited campaign this fall, I am proud to call Brian my friend; we are united in our love for our state and the constituents we serve.Members of Governor Shumlin’s cabinet and other dignitaries watch from the balcony. Since my election in November, I have had the honor of joining Governor Douglas and our Congressional delegation in welcoming home our soldiers from Afghanistan after the biggest deployment of National Guard troops since World War II. We are so proud of you and thrilled to have you home. Our hearts go out to our Gold Star families who have made the ultimate sacrifice to our state and nation. Today, joining Adjutant General Michael Dubie in the gallery are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Brigadier General Jonathan Farnham, Captain Cathy Cappetta, and Chief Master Sergeant Steven Zappi. Also joining them is Command Sergeant Major Michael Datillio, who is retiring after 44 years of service to his state and his country. Please join me in recognizing these brave women and men ‘ and all the Vermonters who have served in our armed services in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere abroad.I am grateful to my loving family and friends for your faith and support; and to all who worked so hard to make this moment possible. Above all, thank you Vermonters for giving me this opportunity to serve you as Governor; I am both honored and humbled.That I stand before you today as Vermont’s 81st Governor was improbable, and no one can attest to that better than my mom and dad, who are here today. My mom reminded me again on election night that it often seemed more likely in my grade school years that I would struggle to find a job than to run for office. As a kid who learned differently, I remember well in second grade being called into the principal’s office with my parents to have them be told what I already knew, but hoped beyond hope that they would never find out: that with all the good efforts of my teachers they could not teach me how to read; that the prospects of my being a successful student and going onto college were unlikely, but they would do the best they could. That was not a great day.I had a single teacher who believed in me. Her name was Claire Ogelsby; she later became Vermont’s teacher of the year. Her husband Mac and daughter Molly are here today. Claire would be here too had she not lost her battle with cancer a year and a half ago. After her long day at school, Claire loaded me in her Willy’s Jeep and took me to her log cabin deep in the woods on Windmill Hill Road in Westminster West. In the warm weather we sat on her lawn; in the cold weather we huddled around the wood stove; and slowly and creatively she taught me how to read. What I remember best about Claire was no matter how difficult the challenge; no matter how innovative she had to be or how hard she had to work, she never gave up on me and therefore neither did I.I share that part of my life today because we are living in difficult times and we need to be creative to overcome our challenges. Let me be clear about the fiscal reality that our great state faces at this moment. After several years of making necessary but painful spending cuts, we are still confronted with a $150 million shortfall in the next fiscal year. Our economic challenges are real, and so is my firm commitment to address them responsibly and swiftly ‘ with hard, sometimes painful but sustainable choices. There is no easy or popular path ahead.While I am bound and determined to put Vermont on a sustainable spending path this year, balancing the budget is not our biggest challenge. All across our state, too many Vermonters are living in fear: fear that they might lose their jobs, face another pay cut, fail to keep their home, send their children to college, afford health insurance or a secure retirement. That fear knows no political party; it has lost patience in finding solace in political slogans and false promises, it takes no more comfort from a tea party rally in Tallahassee than it does from a bickering government in Washington, DC. Vermonters wonder: is anyone in government listening? Can we let go of the political speak, stop playing pretend, face the facts, and arrive at a common purpose?From Bennington to Burlington, Guilford to Guildhall and Stamford to Swanton, our state is uniquely united in what we wish for. Vermonters want jobs and a brighter economic future for themselves and their children.The guiding principle for my administration’s work is simple: we will commit ourselves every day to making the lives of Vermonters more economically secure. With the same fortitude and creative determination that Claire showed in her zeal to teach me and other students who learned like me, one student at a time, I believe in Vermont’s opportunity to replace fear with a bright economic future, one job at a time. A clear vision for job growth and a bold plan to deliver that vision is what Vermont needs right now.The last Putney boy to become Governor, almost three quarters of a century ago, was George D. Aiken, whose wife Lola joins us here today. Governor Aiken also had a bold vision for Vermont’s job growth that he shared with this Joint Assembly as he bid farewell as Governor. He said, ‘Vermont is one of a few states that can sell four feet of snow and twenty below at a profit.’Aiken delivered those words at the dawn of the Vermont snow rush, as chainsaw toting men carved ski trails and second home sites into Green Mountains as rugged and majestic as Vermonters themselves. From Killington to Jay; Stratton to Stowe; Mount Snow to Mad River Glen; Aiken articulated a plan that remains a potent economic force almost 75 years later.As we close out the first decade of the 21st century, Aiken’s world of predictable winters, with twenty below and four feet of snow has been slowly but certainly melting away from us. It’s at Aiken’s home at Vermont’s southern border; at the soil he tilled; the maple trees he nurtured; the ponds he adored; that his horticulturalist’s eyes would gaze in stark amazement at the magnitude of change. The Elm and Butternut are all but gone, the buckthorn is choking out the young hardwood saplings, and many of the ponds that once bubbled with life are now empty waterways.While leaders across America, influenced by the extraordinary economic power of oil, coal and automobile companies, equivocate about climate change, we must not. That our planet is warming at an alarming rate is undeniable. But I raise this not to engage in an abstract discussion of climate science. I raise it because I believe Vermont’s economic future will be determined by how we respond to this challenge. We will provide the brainpower, make the products, and seize the job opportunities a lower carbon economy requires.Vermont’s diversified jobs future is bright. Manufacturing, deployment and production of renewable energy and efficiency, tourism, technology, and agriculture are all sectors of our economy with potential for unlimited growth.As we work to put Vermonters back to work, one job at a time, let us always be mindful that government does not create jobs; entrepreneurs do. What government must do is to make the necessary infrastructure choices that are essential to job growth for this new era.This agenda consists of five goals: expanding broadband, containing health care costs, educating our work force, providing tax fairness and credit for emerging businesses, and supporting a renaissance in Vermont agriculture. It is big, it is ambitious, and it is achievable if we view it as our common purpose.Today I am launching Connect VT, an initiative to deliver by 2013 my promise of high-speed Internet access and cell service to every corner of our state. If not confronted, our connectivity deficit will relegate us to an economic backwater. Vermont lags behind the developing world and ranks 46th among the fifty states in connectivity. Governor Aiken, when facing an equally daunting challenge of bringing electricity to every last mile of this rural state, in the 1930’s, launched a strategy he called ‘Initiative and Cooperation.’Listen for a moment to the words he wrote in August 1939, about that effort: ‘A few weeks ago I pulled the switch that started the current flowing through a cooperative electric line that is bringing the blessings of light and power to hundreds of farms and homes in another Vermont community-homes which, in the past, had been almost completely isolated from urban civilization.’Seventy-two years after Aiken wrote those words about the need to bring Vermont out of its isolation, we must display the same foresight to confront an equally daunting isolation. The spirit that led Aiken to bring Vermont out of the darkness is the same innovative cooperation that is called upon today from our private sector telecommunications providers, the Vermont utilities, regulators and our citizens, if we are to deliver the new electric current of the modern world to Vermont.We have $410 million in private, federal, and bonded capital to be strategically deployed. These resources present Vermonters with a once in a life-time opportunity to ‘initiate and cooperate’ by completing the build out of the Smart Grid, broadband and mobile phone service in a collaborative marriage of the telecommunications and electrical utility sectors to create one shared broadband infrastructure for Vermont.We will not and cannot compete and prosper in the global economy until and unless we deliver on this promise. We all know success won’t be easy, but Vermonters elected me on my pledge to get tough things done, and we will. Indeed, we are too small to fail.The rising cost of healthcare for Vermont’s middle class and small businesses provides an equally daunting threat to economic prosperity. Just ten years ago our little state was spending $2.5 billion a year to stay healthy. Today we spend over $5 billion. That increase represents an enormous hidden tax on families and small businesses across our state. If left untethered, the rising cost of health insurance will cripple us.That’s why we must create a single-payer healthcare system that provides universal, affordable health insurance for all Vermonters that brings these skyrocketing costs under control. Let Vermont be the first state in the nation to treat healthcare as a right and not a privilege; removing the burden of coverage from our business community and using technology and outcomes-based medicine to contain costs. By doing so, we will save money and improve the quality of our care.Some will say it can’t be done. The special interests; insurance companies, pharmaceutical industry, medical equipment makers; the same lobbyists that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure that real reform withered in Washington can be expected to exercise their will to protect their enormous profits.Others will say reform will destroy our existing healthcare system. But logic suggests ‘ and our experience shows – that our current system is unsustainable; that underfunded reimbursements starve our doctors and hospitals; that duplication, waste, inefficiencies and rising costs will drive more rural providers into bankruptcy and destroy our quality of care, which is the very best in the land. I ask the defenders of the current system to explain how small businesses, municipalities and taxpayers can sustain double digit premium increases year after year.Shortly we will receive plans from Dr. William Hsiao to help us design a health care system that Vermonters can afford. I’ve assembled a healthcare team that will invite providers, consumers, businesses, municipalities, insurers, and our congressional delegation to the table to help Vermont build a sensible healthcare system. I call upon single payer supporters to resist the temptation to oversimplify the challenge. I call upon skeptics to challenge us, but to join us at the table. I call upon Vermonters to join together with the common purpose of our state once again leading where others dare not go; universal, affordable, quality healthcare that follows the individual and is not tied to employment.In a democratic society, educating our citizens is our single greatest obligation. I hereby call for an end to the war of words launched from Montpelier that pits property tax payers against our children, teachers, principals, and school board members, and invite instead a respectful conversation on how to create the best education system for our future; how to produce the best workforce for the jobs we’ve just discussed. We take pride in Vermont’s quality education system that is the envy of the rest of the country. Let’s build upon our success by doing even better. The objective is simple: every Vermonter must have the same opportunity for success that Claire Ogelsby made possible for me; economically, intellectually and socially.Part of achieving that success is ensuring that our children don’t grow up in poverty. Almost one in three Vermont children live in low-income households. Without proper nutrition, quality early education, or a stable home, these children too often enter kindergarten far behind their peers, and the spiral begins. They are more likely to drop out of school, abuse substances, and become statistics later in life. We can make a difference in their lives, and we will.We can also do better at ensuring the success of all of our students in school. While we are rightfully proud of our outstanding education system, we are not delivering what is required for every student. Time spent in class does not measure acquisition of skills. For those who quickly demonstrate clear levels of achievement, let’s accelerate their path to enriched programs in that area of study. For students who do not learn in traditional ways, let’s support creative approaches that may be outside the four walls of our classrooms.From early education to higher education; from dual enrollment to technical school; we have the most innovative offerings in the country. Our challenge is to break down the silos into a seamless system that allows each individual learner to integrate the array of programs that inspire lifelong learning.Of course, education extends beyond our schools and to our workforce. Herein lies a great challenge. At a time when Vermonters are facing unemployment and underemployment, many of our jobs creators can’t find qualified employees, and it’s government’s responsibility to help fix this problem. Let me be specific: right here in the chamber today we have representatives of businesses who are looking for qualified employees. IBM in Essex is looking; GE in Rutland is looking; Vermont Circuits in Brattleboro is looking; Sonnax in Rockingham is looking. Our job is to have a pool of applicants trained and ready to work.It should be the policy of the state of Vermont that learning never ends. Working together in a partnership with our educational community we will close the gap between those Vermonters who want work and our job creators who have work to do.At no time in my memory has the future of agriculture in our state had more potential to grow and make money, despite the extraordinarily difficult times facing our dairy farmers. Vermont still produce over 60 percent of the milk in New England, and our dairy community is as unified and focused as I have ever seen it. Working together with our Congressional delegation ‘ the best in the country ‘ we will continue the fight for fair prices for our dairy farmers.The renaissance in Vermont agriculture is rooted in the growing concern by consumers across America about where and how their food is produced. Consumers are increasingly demanding locally grown, chemical-free, high quality food. We must take Vermont’s strengths ‘ buy local, farmers markets, farm to plate, Vermont Fresh Network restaurants ‘ and expand our view of local to everything within 200 miles of Vermont, which includes Manhattan, Boston, and Montreal. Investing in processing and bottling facilities, combined with a dynamic marketing effort for Vermont quality foods, will bring our farmers the value-added price that they deserve for a hard day’s work, and they will prosper.Finally, my jobs agenda will expand the ability of emerging enterprises and businesses to access capital and credit when they need it the most. If our Green Mountain State can be recognized by young entrepreneurs as the innovative leader in financing and venture capital for micro-businesses when banks say ‘no,’ small businesses will thrive.Let me give you an exciting example of what I mean by innovation in financing and venture capital. The EB-5 program, championed in Congress by Senator Leahy, is an established means of generating capital that is creating jobs. Thousands of them, right here in Vermont. We must take this program to levels not imagined by its creators. EB-5 gives us a vehicle not only to raise essential capital, but also to spread Vermont’s stellar reputation from one end of the globe to another.We have a pioneer in this effort, Bill Stenger, of Jay Peak, deep in the Northeast Kingdom, who joins us today. Bill has plumbed this federal program to its fullest potential. Through this initiative he has created over a thousand new jobs in the highest unemployment area of the state that would not otherwise exist.Let me say one last word on my economic priorities. Our choices about taxes directly impact job growth. Vermont’s tax challenge is not that our burden is not high enough; it is that our tax burden is too high. We must develop a tax policy that grows our customer base and grows wealth. The upcoming report from our tax commission will help us in this task. Our patchwork of broad based taxes that have accumulated over the years, combined with overburdened property taxes, require our attention. But let me be clear: as we tackle the difficult challenge of balancing our budget, we must not and cannot succumb to the idea that Vermonters have the capacity to pay higher taxes right now. In order to grow jobs and be more competitive with neighboring states, we must resist the temptation to raise broad-based taxes.I am the first to acknowledge that this action plan is ambitious, and I have not mentioned many of my administration’s other priorities: reducing recidivism for non-violent offenders; rebuilding our roads and bridges; reforming our campaign finance laws; and making government more transparent. You will be hearing more about these and other initiatives in the near future.Our obstacles are many, and our challenges are daunting. The change we are proposing this afternoon is transformative and systemic. It will not happen quickly or easily. Yet as I stand here today to begin a new era of government in Vermont, I remember Claire Oglesby and the many Vermonters who embody her belief that we can overcome adversity with courage and creativity.Vermonters are a rugged people with an abundance of spirit and toughness.Each day is another day in which we can excel.We must intensify our individual efforts to nurture the health and well being of our state and its people.Together we can be bold.Together we must be bold.Let’s begin now.Thank you.Watch WCAX-TV Video
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sure, we love our friends and family, but there is nothing like having some “me” time in a place where you can get away from it all and do as you wish, from catching up on that juicy novel to building some furniture, painting a portrait, playing some video games or just enjoying some uninterrupted television time.Take a look at this Man Cave and She Space we found that may inspire you to create one of your own. Whether you work with a designer or do it yourself, it does not have to cost a lot. Applying a fresh coat of paint, getting rid of the clutter and surrounding yourself with items that make you happy is all you may need to get started.Fort Salonga-based designer Patricia Loria of Loria Design Group created a Man Cave in the basement of this Valley Stream home that offers a fun vibe.“I built a platform that we covered in a geometric indoor/outdoor carpeting that gives you that theater-viewing feel,” she says.“The air hockey game is part of the sports theme in the room and works great for entertaining,” she says. “A vintage New York Rangers jersey; a Patriots flag, a framed Patriots poster and two hockey sticks are showcased to show what a devoted sports fan the owner is.”“Corona is the owner’s favorite drink, so I found a metal/acrylic pub table with bar stools that go perfectly with the theme and adds character,” she says.Kerri Quigley, the owner of the Fashion Class, spends hours in her She Space being creative. It’s her quiet place where she goes to unwind and also come up with new swimwear and knit designs.“My favorite item is my sewing machine,” she says. Located in the attic of her Wantagh home, Quigley describes her She Space as “eclectic.” Part of what makes the room so special to her is the items she surrounds herself with.“I love seeing objects and photos that are associated with good memories, so I tend to keep a lot of stuff about,” she says. One of those items is a plate she brought back home from Bulgaria.“I visited Varna, a beautiful town overlooking the Black Sea filled with ruins from Ancient Rome,” she says. “The Black Sea is calm with high salt content, so you can just float along all day. Later on at a restaurant, a traditional dance performance began. Before I knew it I was pulled on stage and got dressed in a quick costume and had to learn the dance in front of everyone. I’m a shy person but it was hilarious and a lot of fun!”“I fell in love with the red rug when I was in Iceland on my honeymoon,” she says. “We lugged it all over Northern Europe. Although pricey, it’s lush and the perfect color red.”“I painted the color of the walls a Sea Froth by Benjamin Moore,” she says. “I wanted something in a feminine grey tone to fit with the rest of the house. It’s almost a pink or lavender gray.”“I bought this top hat at a tag sale for $4. I love it and I placed it on the dress form for fun,” she continues.“Fabric inspires me,” she adds. “I picked up the fabric from a fabric store. I hung it on the wall until I use it for something I will sew.”“One of my favorite items is the frozen scorpion. It was my younger brother’s. After he passed away, I kept it out to remind me of the fun-loving and wonderful person he was,” she says.
The American market is, immediately after the British, the second most important emitting market for Dubrovnik, and in 2019 159 American tourists stayed in Dubrovnik (146% more than in 16), and 2018 overnight stays were realized (442% more than in 256). ). Due to new measures of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, caused by the epidemiological situation in Croatia, unfortunately, the conference “ASTA DESTINATION EXPO”, which was to be held in December this year in Dubrovnik, at the Valamar Lacroma Hotel, was postponed for April 15-18, 2021. The ASTA DESTINATION EXPO 2021 conference is a unique opportunity to promote Dubrovnik and Croatia, and hosting numerous American tourism experts in Dubrovnik, who will negotiate deals directly with Croatian tourism service providers at B2B meetings, will be a necessary optimistic message to the entire travel industry. next tourist season. Photo: Pixabay.com
Belgium defender Nicolas Lombaerts insists a failed medical was not behind the collapse of his proposed move to Sunderland. Lombaerts told www.sporza.be: “I’ve made the choice not to move to Sunderland. The story of the medical testing is not right.” Sunderland, as is their policy on transfers, have not commented on the situation, although sources close to the club have confirmed the breakdown in talks. Meanwhile, the Black Cats are hopeful of concluding an £8million swoop for Dynamo Kiev’s Holland international midfielder Jeremain Lens after he headed for Wearside on Wednesday. Lens, who watched his club’s 2-0 Ukrainian Super Cup defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk in Odessa on Tuesday evening, tweeted a photograph of himself about to board a plane on Wednesday morning. The Zenit St Petersburg player is understood to have been on Wearside on Tuesday, and rumours later began to circulate that the deal had been shelved because of an issue picked up by medics. However, the 30-year-old is adamant that it was his decision to pull the plug on a £5million transfer. Press Association
The Latest: Athletes group calls IOC decision bittersweet March 24, 2020 More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The European club rugby finals in May have been suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.Governing body European Professional Club Rugby announced the decision a day after a conference call by the board.The Champions Cup and second-tier Challenge Cup had already suspended the quarterfinals scheduled for next month. Now the semifinals on May 1-3 and the finals in Marseille set for May 22-23 are off.EPCR says it “remains committed to completing the 2019-20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season.”___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___One of the key worldwide athlete groups that called for postponement of the Tokyo Games termed the IOC’s announcement a “bittersweet victory.” One option would be July 23-Aug. 8. That is exactly one year from the now-postponed July 24-Aug. 9 dates.Bach says the exact dates is a question for the Tokyo organizing committee and an International Olympic Committee panel overseeing the preparations.Swimming and track have their biennial world championships scheduled to start in July or August 2021.___IOC president Thomas Bach says “alarming figures” in the past few days about the coronavirus were key to deciding the Tokyo Olympics must be postponed. That brings an end to all professional football competitions in Australia and New Zealand.Football Federation Australia chief executive James Johnson says the latest measures imposed by the federal government made it impossible for the A-League to continue. The league had only a few regular-season games remaining before the playoffs. Johnson said the postponement will be reviewed on April 22.Johnson says “as a national competition played in all parts of Australia, as well as New Zealand, mission complicated became mission impossible.”Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Melbourne City at an empty stadium on Monday was the last game completed. Sydney FC leads the standings with 48 points after 20 games.___ Modern pentathlon has canceled the remainder of its World Cup season and postponed the world championships from May to September or October.The four remaining World Cups — two in Sofia, Bulgaria, another in Budapest, Hungary, and the final in Seoul — had already been pushed to May and June but have now been officially canceled.The worlds, relocated from Xiamen, China, to Cancun, Mexico, and set for May 25-31, were rescheduled. The new dates were to be determined.Governing body UIPM says it welcomed the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and will finalize plans to revise qualification.___ The president of the International Paralympic Committee says postponing the Olympics and Paralympics to 2021 was “the only logical option.”The Paralympics are governed by the same contract as the Tokyo Olympics.IPC president Andrew Parsons says “by taking this decision now, everyone involved in the Paralympic Movement, including all Para athletes, can fully focus on their own health and well-being and staying safe during this unprecedented and difficult time.”___USA Cycling chief executive Rob DeMartini tells The Associated Press that athletes were surveyed over the weekend by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and that the consensus was that postponing the Tokyo Games was the correct call. ___Taiwan’s professional baseball league has set April 11 as the revised date for opening day.The start of the Taiwan-based Chinese Professional Baseball League’s season has been delayed twice this month because of the coronavirus pandemic.The CPBL’s website says the opening game would go ahead in a closed stadium but there could be up to 150 season ticket holders allowed entry under strict social distancing guidelines if the government approves.Sports leagues across Asia have been postponed or suspended because of the virus outbreak. The professional baseball and soccer leagues in Japan are aiming to start or resume their seasons in late April. Bach cites the World Health Organization “saying in the last couple of hours that Africa has to prepare for the worst.”The IOC has been advised by the WHO, which said Monday the pandemic is accelerating.Bach says the original health issue for hosting the Tokyo Olympics was “could Japan offer a safe welcome” and the IOC was confident it could.___The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021. ___Japan’s NHK public television says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will propose a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics during talks with IOC President Thomas Bach.Abe says a postponement is unavoidable if the 2020 Games cannot be held in a complete manner amid the coronavirus pandemic.Abe held telephone talks with Bach after IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.___ Associated Press The International Olympic Committee along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers have decided that the Tokyo Games cannot go ahead as scheduled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.The IOC says the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.___Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to his proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.Bach had previously said the IOC would make an announcement about postponing the 2020 Olympics in the next four weeks. The championships are planned for July 16-Aug. 1 in Fukuoka.If an exact one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics is agreed upon, it would take place July 23-Aug. 8.FINA says talks with Japanese officials will “determine flexibility around the dates of the competition, if necessary and in agreement with the IOC.”The governing body cites priorities including “athlete wellbeing and maximizing opportunities for aquatics stars to compete at the highest level.”___ The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers have cut salaries for employees making more than $100,000 and put them on a four-day work week as the franchises deal with the impact of the coronavirus.Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment CEO Scott O’Neil announced the move in a letter posted on the Devils’ website.The cuts are scheduled to last for three months and will amount to roughly 6% of the employees’ yearly salary if the pandemic subsides.The Devils of the NHL and the Sixers of the NBA are owned by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who are the founders of HBSE.___ The group Global Athlete says it was appropriate for the International Olympic Committee to make the call Tuesday, instead of on a four-week timeline that it had suggested over the weekend. In a statement, the group said that while it commended the IOC for its decision, it also pressed the committee to engage with athletes while deciding on a new date for the Olympics.The statement said, “As shown over the past several weeks, no athletes, no Games.”___World swimming body FINA says it will talk to the Japanese organizers of the 2021 world championships about a possible schedule clash with the Tokyo Olympics. The track world championships in Eugene, Oregon, could be moved from 2021 to 2022 after the Olympics were postponed.World Athletics says it is talking with organizers about “alternative dates, including dates in 2022.”The championships in Eugene are due to run from Aug. 6-15, 2021. That would conflict with the Olympics if the same July-August slot as originally planned for 2020 is used next year.World Athletics adds that it is looking at a new qualification system to account for the postponement and for the havoc wreaked on the 2020 schedule by the coronavirus outbreak.___ The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will start Thursday as planned in northeastern Fukushima prefecture but with no torch, no torchbearers and no public because of the coronavirus outbreak.There will be an Olympic flame carried in a lantern and transported by a vehicle along what organizers hope will be empty roadsides.The Tokyo Games and the relay have been caught in limbo since International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said four weeks were needed to decide on an inevitable postponement of the planned opening on July 24. He has ruled out a cancellation.___Australian soccer’s A-League has suspended its season indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak. DeMartini says “training disruption and qualification challenges are too big to overcome even if the environment returns to a degree of normal by late summer.”DeMartini says that he is a fan of a “soonest possible” reschedule but not until the situation is a bit more predictable. That could mean early in 2021 or an Olympics that is pushed into the fall of next year.DeMartini says “we just need to be sure everything is being done to protect their safety.”___IOC president Thomas Bach says he did not discuss new dates for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A couple notes after talking to Bill Polian about AAF:1) CEO Charlie Ebersol reached out to Colin Kaepernick about interest in playing in the league. “I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing,” Polian said. Polian personally spoke to Tim Tebow, who declined.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) February 14, 2019MORE: AAF Power Rankings Heading Into Week 2After that report started making waves, the Associated Press revealed more details as to what exactly transpired.From the AP:A person with knowledge of the conversation tells The Associated Press that the new Alliance of American Football spoke with Colin Kaepernick during its development about joining the league. But Kaepernick wanted $20 million or more to consider playing with the league that had its debut last weekend. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because neither side has publicly acknowledged such talks.Kaepernick’s $20 million is far more than what AAF players are making. Players earn $225,000 over three years, which comes out to $75,000 per season. In May, players can opt to chase their NFL dreams, but if they don’t get a roster spot then they are required to come back for another season.MORE: AAF Week 2 Predictions, Odds and Who to Watch The Alliance of American Football league reached out to Colin Kaepernick about playing its league prior to its start last weekend.The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones spoke with AAF co-founder Bill Polian who told her that league CEO Charlie Ebersol wanted to see if the free agent QB would play. Jones also followed up on her report by saying the league didn’t initiate talks with Kaepernick.To follow up and correct an earlier tweet about Kaepernick/AAF, I’m told that though there was a conversation between Charlie Ebersol and Colin Kaepernick’s team last summer, the AAF didn’t initiate it. The AAF had other similar calls with free agent players.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) February 15, 2019AAF also had interest in Tim TebowThe Alliance also reached out to former NFL QB Tim Tebow, but he’s committed to baseball. What’s interesting about Tebow is that Polian reached out and so did Apollos coach Steve Spurrier. Although Tebow said he’s focused on baseball.”And I don’t blame Tim,” Spurrier said earlier this week on PFT Live. “Tim’s got a chance to go to Major League Baseball. I think he starts in the Triple A this year. I think Tim’s probably headed in the baseball direction right now, and I certainly don’t blame him. I think if I was in his situation, I might do the same thing.”