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Jakarta MRT developer keen not to dig up trouble in route expansion

first_imgThe expansion of the Jakarta MRT line is under way, building on a successful launch last year. But unlike the first phase of development that resulted in a 15.7-kilometer line connecting South and Central Jakarta, phase 2A offers a bigger and more unlikely challenge.With the next phase of development set to happen entirely underground, PT MRT Jakarta is wary of accidentally excavating historical artifacts and other archeological findings in the digging process, possibly resulting in delays.The construction of an underground tunnel along the route, believed to be blanketed in historical value, will require special care so as not to cause any delays for the project, said William Sabandar, president director of the city-owned transportation company. Furthermore, the planned route will run through Kota Tua, formerly an administrative center of the city under Dutch colonial rule, which experts believe may hold numerous historical riches underneath.“[The next phase] has a different scale because the level of difficulty is [exceptionally high], with issues like land subsidence and soft soil, the environment and cultural heritage,” William said earlier this week.Archaeologist Chandrian Attahiyat, a member of the Jakarta Cultural Heritage Experts Team (TACB), acknowledged that the second phase of development would be more challenging.“The MRT phase 2 route presumably contains many artifacts, especially from Monas [ the National Monument] to Kota Tua. Monas alone was situated within the Weltervreden area, which was once the site of the new capital city that was relocated from Kota Tua or Batavia,” he said on Wednesday. But Indonesia won’t be the first country to deal with such concerns.The completion of an 8.5-mile undersea rail tunnel, part of the Marmaray intercontinental railway network in Istanbul, Turkey, was originally scheduled for completion in 2009. But the project was delayed for four years due to the discovery of archaeological artifacts from the fourth century Byzantine Era, the New York Times reported.The development of MRT phase 2A in Jakarta, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is scheduled to be completed by March 2026. It has been delayed three months from the original plan due to the COVID-19 outbreak.The plan spans 5.8 kilometers from Bundaran HI Station in Central Jakarta to the Kota Tua district in West Jakarta. It will consist of seven underground stations: Thamrin, Monas, Harmoni, Sawah Besar and Mangga Besar stations in Central Jakarta, as well as Glodok and Kota stations in West Jakarta.In an effort to prevent any more delays, the company put together a team of experts, including archaeologists and cultural heritage experts, before construction commenced on July 15.The firm, in consultation with the team, has since performed an archaeological test pit, a method which aims to identify heritage remains through small-scale excavation.“[We did this] because we know it usually takes time to gather experts, conduct examinations and make decisions on whether an object is classified as a piece of cultural heritage,” MRT Jakarta construction director Silvia Halim told journalists on Tuesday.“The team will investigate and conclude the status of the findings – including where to preserve it – within 21 days. With this approach, we can take action without compromising progress in the project,” she said.The company is examining several fragments of ceramics that its construction workers and the expert team recently found while digging along Jl. MH Thamrin and through a structural brick near Monas, Silvia said.In the 19th century, a residential area was once situated on the site where Jl. MH Thamrin runs through, right in the vicinity of Sarinah. Meanwhile, before Monas was erected, a number of large buildings, including a police station and church, were situated there.The discrepancies in land use have contributed to the historical characteristics of remains that may potentially be found in said areas, Chandrian said.“[Artifacts] in Monas could probably be found in the form of structures. The soil [in Weltervreden] often gets heightened due to floods,” he said.Heading toward Kota Tua, the archeologist said there might potentially be a discovery of remains of wooden foundations. He said people in the past would have set up wooden foundations first to distribute strength equally for a building’s structure due to the unstable soil on site.Depending on the significance of the archeological findings, the company may choose to alter its plan for the MRT line.“If a significant archaeological finding is discovered, [the expert team] will give its recommendations to MRT Jakarta to change their project plan. This could be done by shifting or deepening the track because artifacts are commonly found 10 meters underground,” Chandrian said.The significance of the discovery will depend on a number of factors, such as its notable relevance to history and the size of the object found, among other things.The Jakarta Cultural Agency’s protection department head, Novriandi S. Husodo, said the team of experts was likely to suggest thorough documentation – called preservation by record – even if the findings turned out not to be of significant historical value.More importantly, he said the establishment of an expert team and its corresponding work procedures would prove to be a good example for future large-scale infrastructure projects and provide a “win-win solution”.“The findings won’t hinder development and the development won’t erase historical information.. Both aspects can work together,” Novriandi said.Topics :last_img read more

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Explainer: All you need to know about the govt’s food estates

first_imgFood distribution improvementThe food estates are deemed essential as the COVID-19 crisis has aggravated Indonesia’s food security issues.In late April, a month after the outbreak in the country, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reported that key commodities, such as garlic, sugar, chili and chicken eggs, were in short supply in more than 20 provinces, while rice, a staple food for Indonesians, was lacking in seven provinces.The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Indonesia office has estimated that the country experienced a 13.2 percent year-on-year decline in rice production to 16.1 million tons in the first half of 2020.Making matters worse, the dry season looms on the horizon and may impact overall output of the agricultural sector, which employs more than a quarter of the nation’s workforce. Haunting mistakes of the pastDwi Andreas Santosa, an agriculture expert from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), told the Post that history showed a series of government’s failures in developing food estates in at least the past 25 years.In the mid-1990s, President Soeharto’s administration sought to develop a similar project called Peatland Development (PLG) comprising around 1.4 million ha in Central Kalimantan. The Jokowi administration will use some of the former PLG land to develop its food estate.“I was part of the environmental risk analysis team. We had warned [the government] about the possibility of failing. And it totally failed,” Dwi said in a phone interview.“All of them failed because they ignored the scientific principles in their development,” he added. “To develop a food estate for food crops on a large scale, four important [requirements] must be met.”They are land and climate suitability, infrastructure for irrigation and transportation, cultivation and technological feasibility, as well as social and economic feasibility, according to Dwi.Dwi also said the food estate needed to produce at least 4 tons per ha to prevent losses, otherwise farmers would leave the project. Moreover, the government also needed to take into account the necessary labor.Each hectare will require at least four people, according to Dwi’s estimate.The Agriculture Ministry is providing production tools worth Rp 379 billion (US$25.4 million). The ministry has offered 98 four-wheel tractors, 150 two-wheel tractors and 35 rice transplanters.The Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) lauded the government’s efforts to boost food production, but did not necessarily support the food estate program, it said in a statement provided to the Post on Thursday. The CIPS is of the view that the program, which involves peatland development, could have a negative impact on the local environment and the peat forest ecosystem.“[The program] could result in losses for farmers and certainly for the government, since it is not spending the budget properly,” CIPS researcher Galuh Octania said by text message on Sept. 26.The government should instead focus on policies to attract greater investment and encourage agricultural innovation to support domestic production, the think tank said in its statement. The Indonesian government is pinning its hopes for bolstering the nation’s food security on the development of food estates in Central Kalimantan and North Sumatra, despite a similar project having failed in the past and COVID-19 disrupting logistics today.In Central Kalimantan, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration plans to develop around 164,600 hectares of food estates for crops like rice, which is part of its National Strategic Projects for the 2020–2024 period.In the first phase, which commences this year, the government aims to develop around 30,000 ha, two-thirds of which will be located in Kapuas regency and the rest in Pulang Pisau regency. The Central Kalimantan food estate is estimated to produce 7 tons of rice per ha, Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo said in July.“Even though it started in September in two regencies, namely Pulang Pisau and Kapuas, we have developed around 4,200 ha as of today. The initial target for September was only 1,921 ha,” Indonesian Army chief of staff Gen. Andika Perkasa said in a statement on Tuesday.The Army has been helping the ministry with the food estate project in Central Kalimantan. On Tuesday, it inked an agreement with the Agriculture Ministry to partner on agricultural human resource development, among other things.Meanwhile, in North Sumatera, the government wants to develop a total of 61,000 ha of food estates for horticulture including potato, shallot and garlic, in the regencies of Humbang Hasundutan (Humbahas), Central Tapanuli, North Tapanuli and West Pakpak.The first phase of development of the North Sumatera food estates will cover 4,000 ha, which has been surveyed by the government from Sept. 20 to 24.This year, the government said, it would focus on developing a 1,000 ha center for agriculture training and technology in Humbahas, which would serve as a partnership model between farmers and investors.The Agriculture Ministry will handle 215 ha, and private investors will take 785 ha. According to the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister, food manufacturers PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, PT Champ Resto Indonesia and PT Calbee Wings Food have expressed interest in the project.“After we managed the food estate in Humbahas, our next big plan in 2021 will be developing the North Sumatra food estate not only in one regency, but we also want to support other regencies with this program,” Nani Hendiarti, the deputy of Environment and Forestry Management at the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister, said in a statement on Sept. 25. Read also: Pandemic disrupts food distribution across country, minister saysThe projects were also aimed at overcoming food distribution issues across the archipelago, land use change, especially in Java, and the increase of the country’s population, said Andriko Noto Susanto, the head of food availability and risks at the Agriculture Ministry’s Food Security Agency (BKP).“One of our approaches is to develop new food production centers outside the existing ones,” Andriko told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Monday.“So the Central Kalimantan food estate for food crops and the North Sumatra on for horticulture are the measure we take to provide new sources of food there.”The food estate in North Sumatera is expected to ease the country’s dependency on imports of garlic and other commodities where national production currently fails to meet national demand.For the May–December period, the Agriculture Ministry estimated Indonesia’s garlic imports would reach around 604,000 tons, mostly from China. It would add to the expected domestic production of 17,600 tons that could not meet the estimated demand of 377,500 tons on the period.“The one for horticulture in Humbang Hasundutan, North Sumatra, is very important for shallots, garlic and chili,” said Andriko. “We have a national surplus of chili, but since it is perishable, there will be a problem if the distribution gets disrupted. Developing new production centers is therefore important,” he added.The logistics disruption caused by restrictions enforced to contain COVID-19 has affected food delivery to many regions in Indonesia, particularly the eastern parts, Minister Syahrul also said earlier in July.Andriko also said the Central Kalimantan food estate was expected to improve rice distribution, which was presently too heavily concentrated on Java, with some other big production centers in Sumatra and South Sulawesi.The three main rice producing provinces of East Java, West Java and Central Java produce a combined 37 million tons a year, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry. The three provinces accounted for 67.8 percent of last year’s rice production, according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Editor’s note: This article has been revised to correctly state Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) researcher Galuh Octania and CIPS statements.Topics :last_img read more

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Racism still rife in South Africa despite the fall of apartheid

first_imgRace relations are a critical fault line in South Africa, with over 500 racism-related cases reported to the South African Human Rights Commission in the past year alone.The United Nations has recently warned that racism, intolerance and discrimination are increasing in many parts of the world. There has been a resurgence of overt racism in South Africa.The Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations – both with long histories of facilitating critical dialogue on issues of race relations – have partnered with other civil society organisations to respond to and better understand race relations in the country. Both organizations want to ensure that anti racism strategies are mainstreamed across all sectors of the country. The anti racism network’s ultimate vision is of a South Africa free of racism.last_img read more

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Jamaica to create single anti-corruption agency

first_imgNewsRegional Jamaica to create single anti-corruption agency by: – March 22, 2012 39 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, makes a point as he addresses an anti-corruption forum held on Monday in KingstonKINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, said that the government is considering the creation of a single anti-corruption agency as part of measures to combat the scourge of corruption within Jamaica.Speaking at an anti-corruption forum held on Monday in Kingston, Golding explained that the agency will provide “a concentrated focus on the problem” and more optimal and synergistic use of the available anti-corruption resources.The creation of this entity, he said, is in keeping with the government’s recently announced national security strategy, which focuses on going after the money and profits made from crime. This will be achieved by assembling an anti-corruption task force resourced with the required skills to effectively use the Proceeds of Crime Act and the proposed anti-gang legislation to combat organized crime and high level corruption.“This is not going to be an agency like the many we have had in the past, which involves basically a paramilitary force used to tackle street level crime. This really is a more cerebral approach where we are trying to put together the necessary intellectual resources and experience that can really use these pieces of legislation effectively to dismantle the upper echelons of that type of crime in Jamaica,” Golding stated.The justice minister noted however that the success of this initiative will be impacted by the efficiency and effectiveness with which cases can be prosecuted in the courts. To this end, he said, consideration is being given to the establishment of a court specialising in cases involving corruption and financial crimes.“Jamaica’s track record in enforcing the law to bring corrupt public servants to justice is not impressive. Corruption is still rampant as evidenced in instances where apparent malfeasance in high places receive press coverage, but instances of effective corrective action have been few and far between,” he stated.According to Golding, corruption is the antithesis of a secure, cohesive and just society, said it will negate the country’s ability to attain its most desirable goals.He said that tackling the problem will require courage and fixity of purpose on all sides. “We must all look into ourselves and commit to ensuring that we are not accomplices in the spread of this cancer in our society. We must rid ourselves of our national bad habits, which have led to this dire state of affairs. Let us commit that we will no longer “let off a money” to pass our driving tests, or to get our cars passed for fitness, or to have our building plans approved, or to avoid a traffic ticket,” the justice minister said.He stated further that until the country commits to abiding by the proper rules and procedures in everyday activities, the accumulation of multiple small acts of corruption will result in a society that continues to score embarrassingly poorly on the international corruption indices.“This is therefore truly a national effort, and the sooner we all get on board, the better our chances of building the brighter future that Jamaica wants and deserves,” Golding stated.Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2011 ranks Jamaica at number 86 out of 183 countries, with a score of 3.3 (on a scale of 0 to 10 where the lower the score, the more corrupt the country).The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2010/11 also ranked Jamaica at 95 out of a total of 139 countries, four places down when compared to the 2009/2010 Index, when Jamaica was ranked at 91. This is well below the levels of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, which are ranked 43 and 84.By Latonya LintonCaribbean News Nowlast_img read more

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Boeheim refuses to discuss NCAA Tournament chances after loss to Miami

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb All Jim Boeheim was willing to discuss were free throws.After his Syracuse (14-6, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) team made just 8-of-19 from the line in its 66-62 loss to Miami (14-5, 4-2) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome, Boeheim didn’t expand much in his postgame press conference on topics other than SU’s woeful free-throw shooting.Until a reporter asked if the head coach thought his team has fallen behind in terms of building a resume worth an NCAA Tournament bid. The Orange, at 14-6 with a demanding ACC schedule ahead of it, is in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2007-08 season.“Ridiculous. You’re the worst I’ve ever been around,” Boeheim said to the reporter. “We do not talk — maybe you’re new, I don’t know. We don’t talk about postseason. We don’t think about it. We play the next game. You guys, that’s your job. Don’t ask me that because I won’t answer it.”Another reporter chimed in and said that ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Sean McDonough, on the air, spoke about a conversation he had with Boeheim in which the longtime SU head coach discussed the NCAA Tournament.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“All I said to him was that every game is important,” Boeheim said, referring to McDonough. “You have to win every game. You have to win to get in the Tournament. We’re not in and we’re not out. That’s all I said to him.”“… But I never talk about the Tournament, never speculate about it, in or out,” Boeheim continued. “That’s for somebody else to decide that at the end of the year. They’re always tough calls. We’ve just got to play, win as many as we can and put ourselves in position and whatever happens happens. That’s always been my policy. That’s all I’ve ever said.“I might’ve said it’s not going to be easy, but that’s not a revelation. I think if you watch us play, it’s not going to be easy. But we’ll see what happens.” Commentslast_img read more

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Women of Troy to face Utah, Colorado

first_imgAfter splitting a pair of home games against Pac-12 opponents last weekend at the Galen Center, the Women of Troy now look to strongly finish off their four-game home stand against Utah on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by No. 22 Colorado on Sunday at 10 a.m.Pushing ahead · Sophomore guard Ariya Crook is averaging 16 points per contest since USC’s 67-62 win on the road against the Oregon Beavers back on Jan. 6, 2013. The Women of Troy are 4-3 over that span. – Joseph Chen | Daily TrojanOn Jan. 25, USC (8-11, 5-3 Pac-12) fell 60-53 to Arizona State at the Galen Center. The Women of Troy led by 16 points at halftime, 36-20, before the Sun Devils rallied in the second half, outscoring USC 40-17 to hand the team its third consecutive loss.In the defeat, junior forward Cassie Harberts hauled in her seventh double-double of the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds. The Sun Devils’ comeback was primarily because of their hot shooting, as they heated up from 32 percent in the first half to 59 percent in the second half, finishing the game shooting 45 percent from the field.The Trojans were able to rebound from their previous loss and put a stop to their three-game losing skid with a 74-57 win over Arizona on Jan. 27, shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half to jump out to a 43-22 lead at halftime. Unlike the Arizona State game, the Women of Troy would secure the large lead and not look back, holding Arizona to only 29 percent shooting compared to their 48 percent.“We were able to put the Arizona State game behind us, rally together as a team and close out the game,” Harberts said.The Trojans were also able to force plenty of Wildcat turnovers with 15 steals and moved the ball well as the team finished with 20 total assists. Once again, Harberts led the way with 26 points. She wasn’t alone in double figures this time, as four USC players scored at least 10 points. Sophomore guard Ariya Crook added 15, sophomore guard Kiki Alofaituli had a career-high 11 and junior forward Kate Oliver put in 10.“Arizona is a very good basketball team, better than their record indicates, and it took a maximum effort to beat them,” USC head coach Michael Cooper said. “We had a little chip on our shoulder from the Arizona State game and I felt that we learned from our mistakes.”Utah (10-9, 1-7) and No. 22 Colorado (15-4, 4-4) are coming off a pair of games against No. 4 Stanford (18-2, 7-1) and No. 6 Cal (17-2, 7-1).The Utes dropped both games by sizable margins, losing 65-44 to Stanford and 71-54 to Cal. The Buffs played the games a little closer, but finished with the same results, falling to Cal 59-56 and Stanford 69-56.The Utes’ Michelle Plouffe leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.Meanwhile, Colorado is led by Chucky Jefferey, who is averaging 12.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per  game.USC lost to both teams in their lone meetings last season, falling to Colorado in Boulder 69-67 and to Utah in Salt Lake City 63-55.last_img read more

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Despite battling injuries, Prince making quick impression on UW

first_imgChris Prince had a standout freshman season last year, leading the Badgers with 14 goals and 26 shots on goal.[/media-credit]While Chris Prince’s 14 points as a freshman may have come as a surprise to many Badger fans, the Wisconsin coaching staff knew he was the rare player ready to make an immediate impact.Prince, a highly touted player from Naperville High School – outside Chicago, started 18 of his 20 games a freshman and showed he was more than prepared for Big Ten soccer, netting seven goals for the Wisconsin men’s soccer team last year. Coaches note that Prince was ready for college soccer before camp even started his freshman year, a testament to his toughness and skill.UW head coach John Trask said he felt the superior coaching and extremely high level of play Prince experienced as a member of the Chicago Fire academy club – a team known for producing high-level college players – were critical to his quick transition in Madison.Despite his quick impact for UW, the sophomore forward has battled through injuries in his first two years with the Badgers, suffering a separated shoulder last season and nursing an ankle injury in 2011.Yet, Prince still has a reputation as one of the toughest players on the team and refuses to sit out for any extended period. “He was ready for Big Ten soccer before he got to us, so therefore he was successful immediately,” head coach John Trask said. “He has a bright future; it’s been a tough go around for him for two years now. … I don’t think Wisconsin fans nor our opponents have seen the best of Chris Prince on a consistent level.”Though just in his second year, Prince is expected to be one of Wisconsin’s top scoring threats alongside Tomislav Zadro and Josh Thiermann. In last week’s matchup with UC-Irvine, Prince drew the penalty kick that got the Badgers back in the game and then scored his first goal of the year to tie it up. His performance against the Anteaters showed that he has the ability to single-handedly bring UW back into any game.In addition to his technical skills with the ball, Prince identifies his physicality as another key to making an early impact. The Big Ten seems known for its bruising play in all sports, and men’s soccer is no different.“I’ve always been more of a physical player; I got in the weight room about a year-and-a-half ago, and I feel like it helped my game immensely, and especially in the Big Ten for how physical it is,” Prince said. “I had my head on right; I didn’t come out all cocky – and some of the freshmen are like that. I came in, listened to the captains, let them give me as much work as possible and just worked off of that.”While his technical ability and physicality are certainly a key to Prince’s success, another aspect of his game allows him to be a complete player – his mindset. Despite setting school records for goals in a season, career goals and career points in high school, the sophomore arrived on campus realizing he still had much to learn.His 2010 performance drew plenty of accolades, as Prince was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team, All-Freshman Big Ten Team and the Big Ten All-Tournament Team last year.“He’s skilled, he’s fast, he’s strong, but he’s a confident player and you have to have it up there, you have to have it in your head,” Zadro, a junior midfielder, said. “I think he just wants to succeed and always wants to improve.”In Trask’s second year at the helm of the men’s soccer team, the Badgers are hoping for significant improvement this year with the goal of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, and Prince will be a major factor in just how far this year’s squad goes. With Prince not off to an incredible start individually, the coaching staff feels that the ankle injury is what’s keeping him from truly taking off in his second year.“Chris, easily if he were 100 percent healthy, we think he’d be at three or four goals right now,” Trask said. “He’s that level of player; he’s a marquee player in Division I soccer.”If Prince continues to develop and turns into the player coaches foresee, he could bring a new element to the Wisconsin men’s soccer program. On a team full of young players, Prince is one of the most proven and still has three years to build his game.“Last year, I felt like I became much more of a possession or one-two touch player,” Prince said. “I understand the game well, and I’d like to get our team a lot more involved going forward.”last_img read more

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‘It’s an addiction,’ The anatomy of SU football’s scalping market

first_imgAt 2:14 p.m. on the first fall Saturday of the year, a 50-year-old man in an SU long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans clothing hiked up the staircase on Irving Avenue. It was Sept. 22, and inside the Carrier Dome, Syracuse primed itself for its first 4-0 start since 1991. Outside Gate C, around the corner from a ticket window, Raj paced in front of Falk College on the concrete path which marked his office, one he fought for in the early half of his 38-year ticket scalping career.He pulled a laminated piece of paper out of his pocket. In bold lettering it read, “I NEED TICKETS.” Raj flaunted it earlier on Marshall Street, but now, closer to the Dome, it drew too much attention. He tucked the sign behind a garbage can. He continued to the box office, checked the price of the cheapest seat available, $25, and smirked. He could buy tickets from fans for $5, and then sell it later for a profit.A bearded SU fan with four extra tickets approached Raj outside of Falk. Raj pleaded with the fan. He had kids in college, and this deal could help cover tuition. The fan asked Raj for his final offer, $40 for the set, and laughed in Raj’s face. As the fan walked away, Raj turned around and looked for his next customer.“I’ve been doing this since I was 12,” Raj said. “… It’s an addiction. It’s fast money. I bought a house doing this.”In Syracuse, ticket scalpers are a game day staple. They’re situated around campus from the tailgates in the Stadium Lot to the bus stop at College Place. According to New York state, individual ticket sellers don’t require a license. Tickets can’t be priced at more than face value and scalpers can’t operate in the 1,500-foot “buffer zone” around a venue’s box office. Scalping has spread since then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer helped loosen the state’s laws in 2001, Kimbel, another Syracuse ticket reseller, said. Raj, like other scalpers in this story, don’t comply with the buffer zone.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLaura Angle | Digital Design EditorThere’s no data on ticket scalping at venues, Victor Bennett, a professor of strategy at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, said. The “big money” days of ticket scalping — the Donovan McNabb era — are in the past, multiple scalpers admitted. The emergence of online secondary sellers such as Stubhub, combined with SU’s middling attendance (it’s averaged 34,494 fans per game in 2018 for football, a 1.7-percent bump from last year, in a stadium which seats 49,262), and five-year bowl drought has stripped the market of its prosperity. Still, on any game day, fans can walk by and partake in an underground economy that’s figuring out how to turn a profit.“All of this hinges on the game selling out,” Bennett said. “… Nobody is getting rich off the secondary market on something that’s not selling out.”An hour and a half before the Orange’s home opener against Wagner on Sept. 8, a scalper who goes by “Gutty” took a drag from his cigarette. He sat next to a patch of flowers and soaked in one of the few moments he was off his feet, waiting for a new crop of fans to arrive. Gutty sold newspapers at age 12 before converting to scalping 30 years ago.Around him, other scalpers roamed College Place. A clump of tickets in his left hand, Gutty’s eyes tracked three “944” buses hauling in potential customers. Fans who park in the Skytop lot are bused to College Place, making it the hub of the SU’s secondary market. Gutty yanked up his denim jeans as the bus doors opened, fixed his blue pullover and jogged over, waving his tickets high.Few fans paid attention to Gutty. Another scalper ran over from the Quad, he had found sellers and buyers.“They’re looking (for tickets) over there, Gutty,” the other scalper said. “I just sold two for $70. I’ll buy yours off you if want?”Gutty refused and turned back to the road as another bus pulled in. In the scalper ecosystem, seniority determines placement. Kimbel, Gutty and others populate College Place. The Quad, where SU Athletics often hosts pregame events, is open. Before the Wagner game, a scalper in a football jersey worked by the statue of Syracuse legend Ernie Davis. Department of Public Safety officers patrolled the grounds, but as usual, didn’t bother scalpers.“They prefer you stay 1,500 feet away (from the box office),” Kimbel said. “If you’re a little bit inside, they’re not going to come out with a measuring tape.”Raj’s spot, the slab of concrete between Irving Avenue and the Dome, is about 95 feet from the ticket office next to Gate C. Connected by a bridge to a five-level parking garage, the location was premier real estate. Raj “established” himself and earned the spot, he said. Raj said he has “regulars” who give him tickets at reduced prices because they’ve known him for so long. Some season ticket holders sell an extra seat if it can pay for a round of beers inside the Dome. When Raj was younger, he physically fought other scalpers for the space.A native of Syracuse, as a child, Raj sold Carrier Dome game programs for 25-cents each. One day, he was given a pair of tickets by an established scalper as a hand-out. Raj, now 50-years-old, sold the tickets for $150. He was hooked. Two years later, he converted to scalping full time.Raj and other sellers benefited from a boom period from 1998 to 2002, which spanned from McNabb’s freshman season to Carmelo Anthony’s. Scalpers made upward of $500 a game, Raj and Kimbel said. But with SU’s football team failing to capture a conference title in 20 years,  attendance has decreased, and scalpers suffered.Syracuse’s week three matchup against Florida State was supposed be a big game, scalpers said. Instead, it “sucked.”  A 20-year scalping veteran, Kimbel didn’t see an energized fanbase. It felt like the last five years, he said. The contest drew 37,457 fans, barely eclipsing the attendance at the Orange’s week four win over UConn: 36,632.  For Syracuse football games, scalpers rarely make more than $150, they said.“Once (scalping) went viral, you couldn’t make money,” Kimbel said. “I can’t, anyway.”Scalpers like Kimbel, a manufacturer of factory parts, consider ticket selling a hobby. Greg, a longtime reseller clad in a leather football helmet, white SU sweatshirt and studded Converse, said, “It’s something to do for six Saturdays in the fall.”Raj and other scalpers are committed to reselling, making it their primary source of income.Like many full-timers, Raj had to travel. He routinely drove to other Division I FBS schools like Ohio State and Penn State. He followed the NASCAR season, frequenting the speedways in Dover, Delaware, and Concord, North Carolina. He even scalped Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comet games, often making $75 an hour. Raj said he once earned $400 at a Crunch playoff game. Raj funnels his earnings through his girlfriend, who has a “legit” job, for tax purposes.“These guys are basically commodity traders,” Bennett said. “They are betting on the likelihood of a event selling out. They are making some money on some games and lose money on others. They hope that it balances out.”As the SU-UConn kickoff neared, Raj bounced between the remaining tailgates. In the past, he’s attended Super Bowls and NCAA Tournament Final Fours. But the interest wasn’t there on Saturday.Instead, he went back to the home that scalping bought him and flipped on the Syracuse game.“I used to go and watch,” he said. “I get tired of it now.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 26, 2018 at 12:19 am Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarezlast_img read more

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‘We were all in a fog’: Syracuse beat Western Michigan hours after Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy

first_imgThe details of the night may fade, but what will stay with players is the silence. It was a deafening silence, a kind of silence that belied the cavernous Carrier Dome packed with 25,746 people. The facility carried a distressing tone. There were anguished sobs throughout the night. People had gathered to watch a Syracuse men’s basketball game on a cold day, Dec. 21, 1988. But it was almost an afterthought. About six hours before tip-0ff, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in the air over Lockerbie, Scotland. The terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of all 259 people aboard, including 35 SU students returning from study abroad trips and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie. More United States civilians died in the bombing than in any other terrorist attack before 9/11. Thirty years ago Friday, Syracuse, then No. 3 in the country, beat Western Michigan, 94-71. Only a couple of hundred feet away was a packed Hendricks Chapel mourning the deaths of SU students. Members of both teams recalled this month the confusion pregame, a mute crowd and the ensuing days full of sorrow. “The whole community was grieving,” said Vernon Payne, Western Michigan’s head coach. “Students were in tears during the moment of silence. I think it was a moment the community, the cheerleaders and all players had a moment of realization of how tragic that loss was. We didn’t have a ‘let’s go play’ attitude. It was more of a, ‘We’ll have to play through this, guys.’”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWestern Michigan’s 1988-89 team poses for a team photo. Courtesy of WMU AthleticsThe decision to even play the game was met with criticism. A university vice president, Ron Cavanagh, received a phone call around 3 p.m. from a travel agent. He was told a plane had gone missing with Syracuse students on board. Cavanagh walked from one end of Tolley Hall to the other to meet with then-Chancellor Melvin Eggers. Their discussion centered on a decision: Should the game go on as scheduled? Payne said his team would’ve been OK canceling the game. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said he would’ve “thought long and hard about” whether to cancel, though the decision wasn’t up to him. Eggers decided to play the game because fans were driving from hours away and rapidly notifying people in the 1980s was a challenge in itself. It wasn’t clear what had happened to the plane yet. Eggers later said he regretted the decision. A couple of hours before tip, Payne met with Boeheim and an SU Athletics representative and they discussed what had happened, what was known hours afterward and the possibility of canceling the game.Meanwhile, Syracuse players arrived to the Carrier Dome around 6 p.m.  Players said they entered individually and in small groups, and they asked one another: “What do you know? Did you have friends on the plane? Are we going to have a game?” They flipped channels on a TV outside the locker room to a local news station. Todd Blumen, then a student manager and current SU video coordinator, panicked. He thought his friend was on the plane. (He later learned his friend was not on the plane.) Boeheim met with the team, but players said he didn’t address the tragedy. Everybody knew. He urged them to stay focused on the game so “we could get to our families for the holiday,” said Scott Goldman, a former student manager. “It was pretty much chaos in the locker room,” Goldman said. “I would have desperately preferred to be at Hendricks with the rest of the community, grieving … During the game, I think everybody’s mind was someplace else.”Catherine Hauschild hugs a fellow cheerleader and cries the day of the Pan Am tragedy. Courtesy of SU ArchivesWestern Michigan guard Mark Brown remembered the Broncos were excited to visit the Carrier Dome, which was eight years old at the time. They didn’t frequently play in large arenas. From watching SU games on TV, they knew how loud the place could get. And yet all Brown remembers is a noiseless place. When players jogged to the court for warm-ups, the Dome began to fill. It wasn’t a sellout, but it was well attended. There were few students in attendance, players said, since many had either gone home for Winter Break or attended the vigil in Hendricks Chapel. There was a commotion in the Dome during warmups, said Western Michigan guard Jerry Overstreet. Afterward, he saw people hugging and crying near the court. A coach had told WMU a tragic event impacted Syracuse, but the details were unknown. His mind raced during the game: “What happened?”“During the game I thought, ‘Am I really here in this moment?’” Overstreet said. “The atmosphere was unbelievable.  It was quiet, it was almost numbing.”The game began at 8 p.m. Minutes before, Michael Rothermel, a Lutheran minister, held a microphone and told the crowd what was known. Spectators who weren’t previously aware of the news gasped. Rothermel said a prayer and called for a moment of silence. The Dome remained subdued the rest of the evening, with some fans leaving early. Student workers at concession stands considered leaving, too.“There was panic pre-game,” said Syracuse starting guard Matt Roe. “It was an eerie environment. You began to question as a player, ‘Should we be playing this game?’ We were all in a fog.”After the game, Marshall Street was quiet. Players from both teams prepared to go home for the holiday break. The game ended shortly before the vigil in Hendricks Chapel. People gathered and held burning candles on campus.Payne, the WMU head coach, stayed a few days in Syracuse, where his wife’s uncle lived. They remained in Syracuse to grieve, and to heal, together.“That never leaves you,” Payne said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 21, 2018 at 10:42 am Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more

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3 takeaways from John Wildhack’s Zoom press conference

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 23, 2020 at 5:03 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmerman On Thursday, Syracuse University’s Director of Athletics John Wildhack addressed the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on Syracuse sports. Though Wildhack hesitated to speculate on uncertain matters, his overall message is that SU Athletics’ primary goal is to “control the controllable.” In fact, he reiterated that exact message three times in 40 minutes.That objective, as of now, entails sending weekly updates to athletes and their parents, allowing coaches to communicate with their players as much as possible, and encouraging everyone to follow social distancing and other public health guidelines.“We all want to get back on campus as quickly as we can,” Wildhack said. Here are three takeaways from Wildhack’s Zoom press conference.UntestedAdvertisementThis is placeholder textWildhack said that the health and safety of everyone involved with athletics is the main concern. However, he dodged a question about whether any players, coaches or staff members — specifically those returning from the canceled ACC tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina — have either been tested or tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, Wildhack said “right now, knock on wood, we’re healthy.” He also stressed the importance of following social distancing protocols.When pressed further, Wildhack said “Thank goodness, we’re in great shape. We’re in great shape.”Fate of the football seasonThere have been no discussions about canceling the season, Wildhack said. Fans everywhere can take a collective sigh of relief. As of now, there will be a football season, though Wildhack doesn’t know when it will start. Important factors surrounding resuming football in the fall include improved capabilities in testing, and how long of a “lead up time” players need to get physically ready for the season. Based on conversations with coaches and medical personnel, Wildhack said six weeks is likely needed for football players.It’s notable that Syracuse has already moved on-campus summer classes online, so it’s unlikely that summer training camp starts on time. Wildhack did say it’s likely they’ll have a better sense of the situation by late June.Reports are beginning to come out that many within college football believe the best option is to start the season in early 2021. With that, concerns would include how a delayed season might condense the 2021 offseason and impact the subsequent regular season. Regardless of when the season begins, Wildhack said SU is working to provide more flexible options for fans interested in buying tickets. The university will also “place a premium” on mobile ticketing, Wildhack added.Meanwhile, Syracuse football coaches and trainers have been in consistent contact with athletes during the quarantine.“We’re trying to simulate as normal an environment as we possibly can, knowing we can’t replicate it 100%,” Wildhack said.Financial fallout from COVID-19As much as any school across the country, Wildhack said Syracuse is going to feel the impact of the NCAA Tournament getting canceled. The NCAA announced its 2020 revenue will be $225 million because of the lost tournament, compared to the expected $600 million that typically gets distributed to schools. Meanwhile, the athletic department saved some money from the cancellation of non-revenue generating spring sports, Wildhack said, and has begun cost-saving measures with temporary pay cuts.“Our staff has been very diligent about trying to manage our expenses. At the same time, as you look to next year, you’ve got to build a variety of budget contingencies.”Notably, Wildhack said he’s had “no discussions” exploring the possibility of cutting sports programs entirely. All cost-saving measures are “designed that the impact on our staff is as limited as absolutely possible,” Wildhack said. Commentslast_img read more