Biden lands key endorsement as Democrats campaign in South Carolina

first_imgDemocratic presidential candidate Joe Biden won the endorsement of an influential black congressman from South Carolina on Wednesday, which could prove pivotal as he competes with national front-runner Bernie Sanders for the support of the state’s African-American voters in Saturday’s primary.Recent opinion polls show Biden, once the leading candidate in the race to be the party’s candidate in November, losing ground nationally with black voters to the surging senator from Vermont.US Representative James Clyburn’s endorsement carries weight in a state where African Americans make up about 60% of the Democratic electorate and where Biden is counting on a good showing after a fourth-place finish in Iowa, fifth place in New Hampshire and second in Nevada. Sanders, a democratic socialist, has taken command of the Democratic race after his resounding win in Nevada last week. Three days after South Carolina’s primary, voters in 14 states will go to the polls for the crucial Super Tuesday contests.At an event in North Charleston on Wednesday, Sanders touted his momentum and went after Biden by name, saying he would not be able to generate the turnout needed to defeat Republican President Donald Trump on Nov. 3.”We have come a long, long way,” Sanders said of his position in the top two of the state’s most recent opinion polls, along with Biden.Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the US House of Representatives, endorsed Biden at a news conference, saying he could “think of no one with the type of integrity, no one more committed to the fundamental principles to make this country what it is than my good friend.” Biden responded: “I’m here, heart and soul, with everything I’ve got to earn the support of the people of South Carolina. Nothing is expected or guaranteed.”Most of the Democratic candidates started Wednesday with speeches at a breakfast in South Carolina hosted by the National Action Network, founded by civil rights leader Al Sharpton. The event focused on mobilizing black churches to get out the vote.Rep. James Clyburn announces his endorsement of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., February 26, 2020. (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)UNPRECEDENTED AD SPENDINGThe South Carolina and upcoming Super Tuesday elections come amid unprecedented spending on advertising by candidates and their supporters.Led by the two billionaires in the race – progressive activist Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – campaigns and political action committees (PACs) backing them have spent nearly $900 million on TV and digital ads since January 2019, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks campaign spending at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.Bloomberg has spent the most, dropping $377 million on 444,000 ads since entering the race just three months ago, while Steyer has spent $145 million. Those amounts dwarf the $62 million spent by this time in the campaign by a super PAC supporting Republican Jeb Bush in 2016, then the highest amount spent up to this point in a presidential nominating race.So far this cycle, Sanders has spent about $20 million and Biden $4.7 million, the university said. Trump has spent about $17 million on ads so far.Biden’s campaign announced on Wednesday that it was making a six-figure broadcast and digital ad buy in Super Tuesday states including Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, where the Democratic electorates also have a high percentage of black voters. Cash-strapped Biden is also counting on a wave of free media should he win South Carolina.Denise Washington of Georgetown whispers into the ear of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during a campaign event in Georgetown, South Carolina, U.S. February 26, 2020. (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)SHOTS AT SANDERSThe candidates acknowledged the sharp jabs they threw at each other hours earlier – in Tuesday’s debate they repeatedly attacked Sanders as a risky choice to lead the party in November – but pledged to eventually unify behind one candidate.Pete Buttigieg, the moderate former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, criticized Sanders during the debate for the changing estimates on the costs of his proposals such as government-run healthcare.”I can tell you exactly how it all adds up. It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump,” Buttigieg said.Sharpton, in introducing Sanders at the breakfast, urged the crowd not to get caught up in the “socialist” branding, noting that the tag has been used in the past to discredit leaders of movements.”Socialism, capitalism, it all has not worked out for black folks,” Sharpton said. “If socialism is on your mind, read about what they said about Martin Luther King Jr. and others.”Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has also sought to differentiate herself from Sanders, a friend and progressive ally. She campaigned at the historically black South Carolina State University in Orangeburg on Wednesday, hoping that strong back-to-back debate performances would give her a boost after disappointing finishes in the first three states.”I’m the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump,” she said, before listing policies to combat combating racial inequities such as voter disenfranchisement, as well as funding historically black colleges and ending the criminalization of marijuana.Topics :last_img read more

​Green Investment Bank ‘very confident’ on fundraising for wind farm fund

first_img“There is already some co-investment going on with the Saudi Arabian fund,” he told attendees at the event in London.A spokeswoman for the GIB said she was not familiar with the fund alluded to by the MP, but added that any fundraising announcements would be made in due course.The bank earlier this week singled out pension and sovereign wealth funds as the target market for its wind farm vehicle.Saudi Arabia’s central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, has so far managed the currency reserves and revenue from the country’s oil production – estimated at $730bn (€536bn) – but there have been discussions to launch a formal sovereign wealth fund.The GIB’s chief executive, Shaun Kingsbury, was also confident pension funds would be interested in the proposed wind farm fund, as he said the asset class was “perfect” for the industry due to its low operating costs and resulting high cash outflows.A trustee of the BT Pension Scheme previously said banks such as GIB would be “quite critical” in creating co-investment vehicles that would allow for the financing of smaller deals, sharing out the risk of each transaction.Kingsbury joked that he would need “a little while” before the next fund was announced, as the wind farm vehicle was only unveiled this week, but he was nonetheless positive about its potential impact on the market.“We will see if we can get BT interested in the first [fund], and then of course if we do it and it works, and it’s successful, then the market will copy us,” he said.“Then, not only will we be raising the next fund, but there will be other folks out there doing it, and that’s great.” The UK’s Green Investment Bank is “very confident” it will be able to attract third-party capital to its investment funds, as wind farms are the “perfect” asset for pension schemes.Lord Smith, chairman of the state-backed institution, said that while the £1bn (€1.2bn) offshore wind farm fund was only recently announced, the GIB had done “a wee bit of homework” and was sure it would see outside investors commit capital to both the fund and the fund management subsidiary.Speaking as the bank launched its annual report, Michael Fallon, government minister in the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Department of Energy & Climate Change, indicated that Lord Smith’s certainty could stem from more than simple confidence.The Conservative MP said that while privatisation of the GIB was one option for attracting private capital, co-investment with other institutions would be another “preliminary route” that would enable the bank to become an “enduring institution”.last_img read more

‘Pushers’ arrested in drug buy-bust

first_imgCasiple and Sodusta were caught after theyallegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu to an undercover officer for P6,000around 6:05 p.m. on Dec. 14. Police identified them as Daryl Casiple andArjay Sodusta, both residents of Barangay Monpon, Barotac Nuevo. Thesuspects were detained in the municipal police station’s custodial facility, facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or theComprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PNcenter_img ILOILO City – Two suspected drug pushers werearrested in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Tabucan, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.last_img

National team secures valuable sponsorship to attend World Chess Olympiad

first_imgTHE Guyana chess team,scheduled to depart for the 42nd chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, received a significant donation for their voyage, the latest coming on Friday from the National Sports Commission (NSC).Sport Director Christopher Jones, in handing over his contribution, commended the team for its efforts in gaining corporate sponsorship;and was heartened by the generous responseAttorney-at-law,James Bond,also came on board with sponsorship, giving a sizable amount to assist the team with their travel expenses.Efforts from companies such as Somwaru Travel Service, Kings Jewellery World, Dr Sengupta and Associates, Hardware Depot, Jumbo Jet Auto Sales, and William Walker of Oasis Café were significant in ensuring the team’s participation.The 42nd chess Olympiad will take place from September 1-14, and Team Guyana consists of six males in Candidate Master (CM) Wendell Muesa, CM Anthony Drayton, Haifeng Su, CM Taffin Khan, CM Ronuel Greenidge and Roberto Neto.It also includes WCM Maria Varona Thomas, Sherrifa Ali, Julia Clementson, Yolanda Persaud and Jessica Clementson as the females.Muesa will also double- up as the Coachlast_img read more

Elections were ‘free, fair and transparent’, says BCB President

first_img– pleads for a chance to move cricket forwardSUNDAY’s presidential elections of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) were conducted in a free, fair and transparent environment, according to president-elect Dhirendranauth Somwaru.Somwaru made the disclosure yesterday during an exclusive interview, saying that there were no signs of manipulation, despite complaints and widespread criticism from a majority of the cricket stakeholders in that county, who have rejected the results, saying the elections were rigged.“The elections were free, fair and transparent, so I would ignore all the criticisms,” the 64-year-old said.He added “It you take on everything that people say about you or the elections, then you will get sicker than I am, so I just ignore everything. This is a democratic country, and people have the right to say what they want, once they are not libelous”.The BCB’s electoral process and results have now engage the attention of the courts, so the cricket problems in the Ancient County is nowhere close to being resolved.However, Somwaru is of the opinion that court actions will not help the development of the game, and as such, is calling on cricket stakeholders to work together to resolve the existing differences.“We want cricket to go on, we want cricket to be played, so how will cricket move on if we are not allowed to function.Give us (BCB executives) a chance, and if we are not doing well then kick us out, I would agree with that, but give us a chance,” Somwaru pleaded.Further, Somwaru is appalled by the comments made by secretary of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association, Winston Roberts, who said on Tuesday that he did not accept the position of vice-president as was reported in the media.Roberts stated that he cannot accept any position on the present administration because the process to elect them in his mind was flawed and not in any form democratic.He further mentioned that he never agreed to accept any position and was not even aware that he was nominated, as he and the rest of the Upper Corentyne delegation had refused to be a part of the elections.However, Somwaru pointed out that Roberts was indeed consulted on the position prior to the elections.“I met him (Roberts) personally, with Vickram Seubarran and Leslie Solomon, and I ask him if he is willing to accept the vice-president position…he didn’t say no.I even spoke to Mr. Dennis DeAndread, president of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association what I had in mind once we won the elections, is for the vice-presidents position to stretch out in Berbice, Upper Corentyne, Central Corentyne and West Berbice. I would also like a selector from Upper Corentyne,” Somwaru pointed out.Meanwhile, Chronicle Sport understands that stakeholders from the Berbice cricket fraternity, have filed two separate court orders following Sunday’s contentious elections.Information reaching Chronicle Sport indicates that an injunction was filed yesterday against the current board, preventing those officials from performing their duties until the application to set aside the elections is heard and determined.A second application of contempt was filed on Tuesday against Somwaru, Godwyn Allicock and secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board, Anand Sanasie.last_img read more

Ferocious Tigers storm to GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships female title

first_img– Hikers survive late scare en route to male title defenceBy Faizool DeoTHE GBTI GCC Tigers restarted the reign of the Bourda club after a flawless campaign handed them the spoils of the first division female battle in the GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships on Sunday evening at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Meanwhile, in the feature male clash, multi-year defending champions, Pepsi Hikers, survived a late scare against the YMCA Old Fort Delta Force in their first division final.Prior to those finals, the YMCA Old Fort Hot Shotz saved their best for last to stun defending champions, Bounty GCC Vintage, in the Over-35 final, while Bounty GCC Pitbulls whipped Bounty GCC The Sequel in the Second Division final.The one-week, four-division championships culminated with an intense last few minutes of play in the men’s first division final. Hikers were sitting comfortably with a 3-0 lead at the break, but more coordinated attacks first led to greater opportunities and then goals.Omar Hopkinson drew one back with nine minutes left in the clash as he fired in a scorcher from the left side of the box; with a two-goal cushion, the Hikers still felt safe, but Old Fort turned up the heat in the last five minutes and Jason De Santos was ready to be their hero.He scored a sneaky goal in the 36th minute after he stole the ball from the centre line and battled his way through the defence for a successful strike.Robert France then carried Hikers back up after he found the back of the net.In the last two minutes, De Santos fired two shots past the goalie, but one was disallowed, which resulted in the 4-3 finish.The Hikers also won two of the three individual awards.  Defender Andrew Stewart was named the Most Valuable Player, while Aroydy Branford, who exploded in his first two games, finished with the most goals (13).  The best goalkeeper’s award went to Delta Force’s Paul D’Andrade.FEMALE FINALThe female final was less intense and although the GCC Spice proved that they are a very good side, they were always second best to sister club, the Tigers.Marzana Fiedtkou, who finished as the female MVP and highest goal scorer with 17, stamped her authority in the game with three early goals. She scored in the fourth, fifth and seventh minutes.Sonia Jardine then scored one of her two goals in the 15th minute to carry the eventual champions 4-0 ahead, but Sandy Roopnarine, who has been consistent in the tournament, answered before the break. Jardine would go on to score her second, while Gabriella Xavier made it 6-1.Roopnarine and Shebiki Baptiste scored consolation goals in the final minute of the clash.Along with the second place trophy, the Tigers’ Briawna Gordon was adjudged the best female goalie.OVER 35 FINALIn the first championship clash of the final day, the dominant Vintage side looked to again whip Hot Shotz in the Over-35 division.  In their last preliminary game, Vintage had won by a 10-3 margin.Although the final proved to be another goal-laden clash, with a whopping 19 goals, Vintage could not replicate their dominance.The defending champions had scoring spurts, but they were sporadic.  They went ahead 3-0 in the early first half, but cooled down, and Hot Shotz’s Aderemi Simon and Dwight Sullivan took over.  The pair scored five consecutive goals in an impressive fight back. By the half, Old Fort were ahead 6-4.Hot Shotz kept firing shots, which propelled them to a 10-6 lead, and although Vintage would score three unanswered goals in the last five minutes, they still fell short 9-10.Kevin Spencer led Vintage’s attack with five goals.Simon, who finished with four goals for the winners, was named the MVP of the division, while Spencer was again rewarded with the trophy for the most goals (16 goals).In the Second Division final, two goals each from Kareem McKenzie and Meshach Sargeant propelled Bounty GCC Pitbulls to a 6-1 victory over Bounty GCC the Sequel.Rahim Oliver and Tariq Nelson also found the back of the net for the winners.  The Sequel’s lone goal came in the sixth minute of play off the stick of Dwayne Scott.McKenzie was voted as the MVP, Omar Hopkinson from YMCA Old Fort Top Form finished with the most goals (13), while D’Andrade, who also played as custodian for Top Form, won another best goalkeeper’s award.Madison Fernandes from the GBTI GCC Spartans and Shakeem Fausette from Saints, also received the Toco All Star Junior Players awards.last_img read more

African Tour: Mapwanya Out as FCT Classic Tees Off

first_imgThe three-ball of E. Ocheje, S. Okoromi and M. Musa will set the tone for the rest of the players when they file out at 8 a.m.Tournament favourite Torgah, will play in the seventh group, which composes Friday Akpodiete, Francis Epe and U. Saater. They will hit the fairway at 9 a.m.Torgah has already won the first two events of the 2019 season-Eko Challenge Cup and the Memorare- and will be looking forward to extend his winnings to three on the trot.This edition features international players from Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The FCT Classic is a 72-hole stroke play event contested over four days with a cut set after 36 holes. The winner will walk away with $4,000 Order of Merit points.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Visitor Mapwanya of Zimbabwe is a major absentee as the FCT Classic, the third event on the African Tour roaster, tees off today at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.Mapwanya famously edged Vincent Torgah of Ghana in a tense playoff to win third version of the tournament on March 3, 2018.The main tournament will get underway with 40 players on the draw sheet after four players joined following the 18-hole qualifying round held on Monday.last_img read more

Wisconsin recruits: Softball’s new hope

first_imgThe Wisconsin softball team has struggled the past few years, but hope may be on the way with eight new recruits joining next season.[/media-credit]University of Wisconsin softball head coach Chandelle Schulte has a lot to be excited about come next softball season.Although she can’t lose focus on the rest of the season, as there are still seven games remaining, Schulte’s recruiting class might make her keep one eye on the future. The Badgers have compiled an overall record of 13-35 this season and have amassed only two conference victories, with one over rival Minnesota and the other over lowly Indiana. Giving hope for the future, however, are eight sparkling recruits who have signed letters of intent to play at Wisconsin — all of them supposedly with a legitimate chance to start.The headliner of the class is undoubtedly Shannel Blackshear, an infielder from Arizona who batted .460 throughout her high school career. She was twice named to the All-State team and the Adidas Futures National Camp named her one of the top 100 softball players in the country. She will have an immediate impact most likely at third base, where the Badgers have employed an array of players throughout the course of the year.“She’s an impact kid, and I think she might be our first All-American,” Schulte said. “You can go somewhere and be the tradition, or be the face of Wisconsin softball, and that kind of appealed to her.”Joining Blackshear is Meghan McIntosh, a teammate of Blackshear’s on their travel team, the Arizona Desert Thunder. An outstanding pitcher from Buena High School in Arizona, McIntosh posted a 47-12 record, threw three perfect games, boasted an ERA of 0.76 and struck out 635 batters.With senior southpaw Leah Vanevenhoven graduating, this lefty will certainly help shore up Badger pitching. She was also named to Arizona’s first team All-State twice, and she was recently selected as the Female Athlete of the Year as chosen by The Sierra Vista Herald in Arizona. Originally McIntosh had committed to Arizona State, but the Sun Devils, who won the College World Series last year, recruited more pitchers and lost out on McIntosh.“She’s thrown four no-hitters this year, and I think she just threw another one two days ago,” Schulte said.Maggie Strange, a catcher from Gallatin High School in Missouri, will provide much needed stability behind the plate. This year, the Badgers’ Dana Rasmussen was assigned the catching responsibilities, not because of her experience but more so because of her athleticism and the fact that the Badgers didn’t have any legitimate alternatives.“Maggie is very verbal and will do well at controlling the field,” Schulte said to UWBadgers.com. “She has a tremendous arm behind the plate and a strong passion for the game.”Kendall Grimm and Whitney Massey, two other recruits coming to Madison next year, are known for their explosive speed which Schulte and the Badgers have been lacking this year.“I think next year’s class will probably be the fastest team we’ve ever had,” Schulte said.After posting a 15-40 record last season to go with a 13-35 mark this year, the UW program is in need of an overhaul. Earlier this season, Schulte spoke about the selling points of Wisconsin and how the program lacked a face. In recruiting these players, she offered them the chance be that type of player and leave a lasting legacy on the team.“When I took this thing over, one of the things that was abundantly clear to me was that I change the culture of the team,” Schulte said. “Quite frankly, I underestimated how difficult that would be. Traditions are not won in a day.”When Schulte recruited Blackshear and McIntosh, both spoke of their goal to bring a College World Series championship to Madison. This newfound mentality, depicting a players’ reach exceeding farther than their grasp, hasn’t been seen in Madison under Schulte’s tenure.“I honestly believe you’re going to see a huge difference,” Schulte said. “We have kids playing in the right positions, which we haven’t had for three years, and so instead of having to teach them all over again, we can just make them better at what they already know. Talent is one thing, and they have it.”last_img read more

Badgers’ inconsistent performance yields skid

first_imgWith senior forward Anya Covington missing two games due to illness, the Badgers offense struggled to find a groove. The other Wisconsin posts only combined to score 16 points during her two-game absence. In her first game back, Covington put up 20 points against Penn State on Feb. 9.[/media-credit]If basketball is a game of peaks and valleys, then there is no better group to exemplify it than the Wisconsin women’s basketball team.In a season marked by streaks in both the win and loss columns, the Badgers (8-16, 4-8 Big Ten) are currently in the midst of three straight defeats, two of those coming to top 25 teams. While the Badgers are no strangers to rough stretches – having endured two streaks of four or more losses earlier this season – they are looking to stamp out any inconsistencies en route to playing their last four remaining games of the regular season.The largest inconsistency that currently plagues Wisconsin is its offense. While the Badgers averaged 47 percent from the floor during the three-game win streak that preceded their past three games, the team is shooting an average of 39 percent from the floor in their recent three game slide. Although shooting nearly 40 percent from the floor is still a positive for the Badgers, the team is struggling to match the point production that has led them to victories all season.Currently, the Badgers are averaging 59.7 points per game, with only 56 points in their last two contests. Although the offense has recently hiccupped, Wisconsin is fully capable of outshooting opponents. In games where the Badgers score more than 60 points, the team is 7-4, and the team is also 4-1 in games when they score 70 or more – point totals that are extremely necessary for a team that gives up on average 43 percent from the field to their opponents.Although the team is reluctant to admit it, the Badgers’ offensive chemistry may have been affected by the two-game absence of senior forward Anya Covington to illness. In the team’s two games without Covington – both resulting in losses – Badger post players only managed to score a combined sixteen points while the team was outrebounded in both games.Covington’s presence is something that Wisconsin sophomore guard Morgan Paige believed could have helped the Badgers’ seal up a win against No.9/10 Ohio State last week. In a game where the Badgers made a school record 12 three-pointers, the team was severely lacking from within the arc, going a measly 11-of-34 from anywhere inside the three point line.“It hurt against Ohio State to not have Anya in the paint even though we had one of our better shooting nights there,” Paige said. “I wouldn’t say the three pointers we took at Penn State were bad shots, we just couldn’t buy a basket. I feel like in our next few games, having Anya back, our consistency should come back, but it’s just one of those things where you never expect to come out and shoot as poorly as we did against Penn State.”Shooting poorly might be an understatement. Although the Badgers boast the fourth highest team three-point percentage in the Big Ten, that stat was all for naught against the No. 12/17 Nittany Lions last Thursday. Penn State held Wisconsin to 1-for-12 shooting from three, a season low for the Badgers, wasting a 20 point performance from the returning Covington.For Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey, chemistry has no role in the team’s recent struggles.“I mean you obviously miss [Covington’s] scoring but other people have to step up,” Kelsey said. “Chemistry had nothing to do with our offense struggling. When people are missing other players have to step up. Some of the silly plays, not matching up, giving people straight line drives to the basket – you can’t win doing that. Even though we haven’t been playing our best we’re still in these games; we just have to close these games out.”When it comes to closing out games, Kelsey’s words echo the exact truth. The Badgers have held leads in several of the games they’ve dropped this season, including a 10-point lead in a recent overtime loss at home against Iowa. Turnovers have also killed the Badgers, as mistakes in key moments of recent games have cost the Badgers wins.In the overtime loss against Iowa, the Badgers had an opportunity for a final shot to win the game in the waning seconds of regulation. But Wisconsin could not hold onto the rock, turning the ball over and allowing the Hawkeyes the two final shots of the second half, as both attempts luckily did not find their target. On the road against Ohio State the team brought the game within six points in the second half but unraveled with a string of turnovers and missed box-outs, as the Buckeyes capitalized on second chance points.In the last three games, the Badgers have 61 combined turnovers, for an average of 20 a game. Those 20 turnovers equate directly to offense, as the Badgers have on average lost 20 chances from the floor during their recent three game skid.For Kelsey, fixing the team’s inconsistencies of late are a matter of finding the players that step up in big moments.“Our players need to have a closer mentality,” Kelsey said. “Some of our players want me to give it to them, but I’m like, you’re sadly mistaken. I can only bring out what you already have; I can calm you down a little bit but you need to have that attitude when you play. I mean, we have some passive players; you just need to have confidence in yourself. A coach can’t give you that.”last_img read more

Korger: Student recreational facilities lagging behind at UW

first_imgThree-thirty in the afternoon is a time of the day that means plenty of things for the average human being. The work day is almost over, maybe it’s that time for the student from elementary school through college where they finally get home from a tough day of classes.Or maybe, maybe it means something way out there. Peak weight room hours.One of the resolutions I made to myself after becoming one with my chair and desk at The Badger Herald last semester was to get my sedentary body out of fossil form and back into that once-decent 200-pound frame body I inhabited just a year ago.Let’s be honest: We all say we’re busy (which I truthfully am) but sometimes after a hard day of mental sweat, a physical sweat is the last thing we want to subject ourselves to.So, I bought myself a locker at the SERF, my first new pair of running shoes since 2008 – after the soles finally fell out of my old Nikes – and began to put my body through a more rigorous physical trail than a contestant on “America’s Biggest Loser.”But, to my surprise, if I actually wanted to work out the way I wanted, I needed to find the right time to do so.3:30 p.m., or really anytime after 3 p.m., is like working out in a circus.For one, the weight room is more crowded than an early 19th century tenant house – and I do not use that reference lightly. Want to bench press? Forget about it. Four men with muscles the size of Sylvester Stallone in the first “Rambo” are already there, putting up ungodly reps of unthinkable weights.Want to do some bicep curls? Well, guess what, those flabby arms of yours are going to stay flabbier than my stomach after this Wisconsin winter. Why? There’s no room to breathe, let alone curl around the dumbbell racks of the first floor weight room during peak hours.Hell, there’s hardly room to do anything at all. It’s more packed than a clown car on the basketball court upstairs, and the miniscule amount of basketballs for rent have already been checked out long ago.Sorry, bro, looks like that jump shot will have to stay looking like a Ryan Evans free throw rather than a Sam Dekker three.Growing up a Lakeshore dorm resident as an underclassmen, I was first subjected to the Natatorium as a freshman. The Nat has definitely seen better days, but it still serves a solid purpose. Basketball courts, swimming pools, weight room areas, everything the basic college student needs.But, it’s old and outdated. The weight room is too small and the place gets log jammed during anytime considered an ideal time for the student to work out. Sure, during the first part of the day the place is a ghost town (like most of the student fitness facilities from open until 3 p.m.) but I can’t exactly tell my professor at my 11 a.m. lecture, “Excuse me, I must be dismissed. If I don’t get my swoll on now, I never will.”Remember the NatUp campaign in 2010? I thought the biggest mistake was it targeted the wrong building and funded an unsuccessful bid for a renovation with segregated fees for a project that would require raising segregated fees to fund. Why not target funds for renovations or reconstruction away from the student body and toward donations from alumni and others?No offense, University of Wisconsin, but I’m broker than PacMan Jones after a weekend stay in Vegas.I’ve seen what Wisconsin has been doing around campus with the renovations to the athletic facilities. First, these changes were needed and our student-athletes deserve the best for all the revenue and exposure they bring to this university. Plus, they work their tails off to be the best, and they deserve to pursue that every day in the best facilities possible. Never underestimate how important top-of-the-line facilities are in bringing in recruits and maintaining successful athletic programs.And maintaining Chris Borland’s quiet dominance of ping-pong on the football team.Anyway, now that almost all the major projects are done, like LaBahn Arena, the renovations to Camp Randall and a new scoreboard and sound system for the football stadium, it’s time for the university to turn its eye back toward the thousands of students who make up the general population of the campus.I’ve been to UW-La Crosse and UW-Oshkosh’s student fitness facilities, and let me just say, we are woefully behind. So, muscled men and women of the respected Southeast Recreational Facility, Nat and Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center, aka the Shell, it’s time. Rise up, put down those protein drinks and demand a better workout!And please, for the love of God, wipe down the bench after you’re done using it. Please?last_img read more