Monday, 1 April 2013

Fans flock for opening round

THE SPLIT opening round of this year's premiership season drew the third-best total attendance for a single round in the history of the game.

The official attendance figure for the opening round was 365,507.

"The attendance of 365,507 for the opening round has provided a compelling start to the new season and the number of upsets and high-quality matches across the round augurs well for a great race to the 2013 flag across the rest of the season," AFL chief executive officer Andrew Demetriou said.

"Coupled with the very strong attendance figures at the matches themselves, we have also seen some outstanding results with television viewer numbers around the Adelaide v Essendon and Carlton v Richmond games in particular, with both matches drawing more than 1.2 million combined viewers across free to air and subscription television.

"At this early stage of the year, AFL club membership across the competition is already well on track to eclipse last year’s all-time record tally of 707,621, and the clubs and the players deserve great credit for the peerless match-day experience at every AFL game."

Friday, 4 November 2011

Covering the arts

One homemade quilt can help cover the arts at Crossville Elementary School.

Crossville resident Smokey Black recently made a Christmas quilt, and as a member of the Crossville Woman's Club, she allowed the club to raffle off the quilt and donate the proceeds to the Crossville Elementary School Art Club.

The Woman's Club has helped sponsor the grades 2-5 extracurricular art organization for the past three years.

"They don't have any means except for donations," said Woman's Club member Colene Morgan.

Part of the proceeds from the quilt raffle will also go toward the Woman's Club scholarship program, which gives one Crossville student a $1,000 college scholarship each year.

"The club didn't spend any money on this, so all the money we make will go to these projects," Black said.

The reversible quilt displays a Christmas design on one side featuring manger scenes and Christmas trees from corner to corner. The unique trees are made from small fabric triangles are sewn down with one line in the middle of the triangle and on the corners. The edges of the trees are left loose, giving the quilt an interesting 3-D effect.

"It's a different kind of quilt," Black said. "It's not something someone would just slap on their bed. It's mostly decorative."

The back of the quilt can extend its use past Christmas. The fabric on the reverse side features snowflakes and a winter home scene.
"It's a good winter-time quilt too," Morgan said.

The quilt is the first fundraiser for the art club this year. In previous years, members held a special fundraiser for the art club in the spring. However, after the tornadoes that devastated much of the state in April, they decided to "put this money to better use," Black said.

"There were just so many needs," Morgan said.

Area residents can purchase one chance to win the quilt for $5 or three chances for $10. The drawing will be held on Dec. 6 and the winner will be notified the next day.

For more information and to buy a chance to win the quilt, contact Black at 256-528-7998 or Morgan at 256-659-4430.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Club Focus - Everton - Toffees’ slow start and drawing habit threatens to ruin Europa League chances

Everton’s chances of a return to Europa League football took a heavy blow in defeat to Manchester United on Saturday and could be killed off in all but name if Bolton Wanderers win at Fulham on Wednesday evening. But that the Toffees are even in contention for a top six finish at this late stage of the Premier League season is a huge turnaround from the start of the campaign.
Winless until October, four goalless games in the opening six fixtures and only four goals scored - including three in one match - did not suggest a charge towards European competition would be forthcoming. Indeed, after six games, Everton were dead last in the table. That last game of Everton’s horrific half-dozen was a 0-0 at Craven Cottage, the site of the match that will essentially decide who contests the shootout for the final qualification place, Bolton or Liverpool. If the Wanderers win they will leapfrog Everton and go within three points of Liverpool, albeit with an inferior goal difference. Everton would drop to eighth, five points adrift of their local rivals.
Whoever claims sixth spot will only reach Europe if Manchester City win the FA Cup but fail to qualify for the Champions League, and while Roberto Mancini’s men are heavy favourites to finish fourth, sitting four points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, more unexpected collapses have happened. Clinching sixth place is therefore essential to be in with even a chance of competing in next year’s Europa League. The outcome of the meeting between Fulham and Bolton impacts on both Merseyside clubs - Everton more directly but also Liverpool, who will have one or the other breathing down their necks as the season comes to an end. Should Fulham and Bolton draw it will be advantage Liverpool, but considering Everton and Fulham have often drawn this season - 14 and 15 for each side respectively - and Bolton have drawn 10 games themselves, a point apiece would appear a likely outcome.
If Everton had converted a handful of their tally of draws this season into wins, they would be snapping at Liverpool’s heels far more than they are now. Had the 2-2 draw at Anfield been an Everton victory there would be two points between the sides, not five, just one of the “what might have been” stories of Everton’s season. Last season Everton drew 13 times through the whole of the 38-game struggle, already eclipsed this year with four games remaining, and the reason for so many draws is seen in the goals for column, only 47 for 2010/11 compared to 60 for 2009/10. Barring a late flurry of more than three goals a game, Everton will not match last season’s number, while goals conceded is on course to be slightly improved - 42 so far, 49 last term. Conceding more than two goals a game over the final four is not impossible, but equally as unlikely as Everton snatching sixth place.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Drawing won for $10 could fetch $1 million at auction

A drawing by American Pop Art master Roy Lichtenstein, which was won for $10 in a 1960s lottery, could fetch more than $1 million when it is auctioned in May, according to Christie's.
"Drawing for Kiss V," the original work for the artist's famous "Kiss V" from 1964, is expected to be among the highlights of Christie's post-war and contemporary art auction on May 11.
The owner obtained the graphite and wax crayon-on-paper work 45 years ago at an Artists' Key Club Happening, which was a type of artistic or performance event. The club was formed by a group of emerging pop artists in the early 60s.
Attendees were told to gather at New York's Hotel Chelsea, a legendary hangout for artists, musicians and bohemians, and register in a lottery in exchange for a key to a locker at Penn Station, which was undergoing renovation.
Each locker held a work donated by artists, including Lichtenstein, Christo and Andy Warhol. One lucky $10 lottery ticket led to the locker holding "Drawing for Kiss V."
The unidentified owner has had the work in a collection ever since.
"'Drawing for Kiss V' is a master work created by Roy Lichtenstein in 1964 while at the height of his creative powers," said Jonathan Laib, specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie's.
"In this incredible drawing Lichtenstein accomplishes much of what defines his greatest works; the lingering effects of this drawing are lasting, it finds its way into the crevices of the mind and lingers freezing time to create experience."
The work is from Lichtenstein's celebrated series of iconic portraits of dream-girls, which he executed between 1961 and 1965.
Christie's sold "Study For Crying Girl," a drawing from the same series, for more than $1.7 million in 2007. The record for a Lichtenstein, who died in 1997, was set in November in New York when the auction house sold "Oh...Alright" for $42.6 million.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Boxing director fights move

Like Public Services Director Mike Greene and Licensing and Inspections Director Rob Sherman, Tom Moraetes is one of those most affected by a plan to restructure Augusta's government.
Moraetes' 35-year-old Augusta Boxing Club, a city-funded operation since 1995, was targeted in the reorganization plan for a significant downsizing and relocation to a smaller space in the May Park Community Center downtown.
The move would cripple the successful program, which serves about 100 boxers and has produced such stars as Ray Whitfield, Vernon Forrest and Frank Durst while continuing to serve as an outreach to youths, Moraetes said.
"Putting our program in May Park is very similar to taking Notre Dame Stadium and putting it on Richmond Academy field. I'm not saying that it wouldn't work; it's just not going to be the same," Moraetes said.
Rather than sit back and await the inevitable, Moraetes is drawing on his experience finding sponsors who already donate equipment, scholarships and their time to keep the club afloat and is searching for a new benefactor to replace the city, which pays for utilities and his and two part-time salaries.
Plans are in the works for such a benefactor to take over and possibly expand the program in its existing location, a Walton Way storefront that houses three boxing rings, locker rooms and scores of donated equipment. Use of the property is donated to the club by owner James O'Quinn.
When Augusta Boxing Club secured the Olympic trials for the 1996 Atlanta Games, the city took the department in.
"I have no animosity at all for the recreation department; they've been here for us for years," Moraetes said.
Recreation Director Tom Beck said he was glad to hear the private sector might step in to keep the program intact.
The recreation director will soon become more of a parks and facilities specialist as the department takes in 85 groundskeepers, electricians, plumbers and other maintenance personnel when Augusta's public services department is eliminated.
Detailed in a 164-page draft reorganization document released by the city last week, the change nearly doubles Beck's department to about 198 employees and gives him a raise.
The largest division of the reconfigured department is not recreation but parks and facilities, whose 116 employees will maintain everything from Augusta Municipal Golf Course and five city cemeteries to the Joint Law Enforcement Center.
While seven recreation positions are being eliminated, about 65 recreation specialists and administrative personnel will continue to operate recreation programs at the city's six recreation centers, tennis center, aquatics center and five community centers.