Pack Back-to-School Lunches Safely

first_imgSwanson said it’s vital to keep any protein-rich food like beans, eggs and meats –processed or leftover muscle cuts such as roast beef or chicken — cold with chill packs.”Mayonnaise or margarine spreads, as long as they’re commercially prepared, aresafe to use in sandwiches,” she said. “They keep the bread moist and keep itfrom becoming soggy from the sandwich filling.”Parents can cut the fat content in their child’s lunch with a low- or reduced-fat mayonnaise, salad spread ormargarine.A good rule of thumb for lunch foods is if you buy it from a refrigerated case or itcame from the refrigerator at home, keep it cold.Hot foods require another type of container: a vacuum bottle. Swanson said a goodvacuum bottle will keep hot foods safe for four to six hours. Fill the bottle with boilingwater for two minutes, then empty it and immediately fill it with the food that has beenheated to boiling.”But you have to make sure your child can easily handle the bottle to empty itinto a bowl or plate without spilling the hot food onto themselves or others,” shesaid. “Hot foods may present more of a burn risk than a food safety risk.” Other safety factors to watch include pull-tops on food containers that may cutchildren’sfingers.Good lunches help your children get through their day and stay healthy. But lunch withfood safety risks can ruin their day and yours. While you’reincluding notebooks, pencils and backpacks on your list of supplies for school, don’t forget one of the mostimportant — a safe lunch box and cold source.”There are a lot of differences between a safe lunch box and one that will justcarry the lunch,” said Ruthann Swanson, a food specialist with the University ofGeorgia Extension Service. “Some boxes or bags don’t have enough insulation to keep foods safe,” Swanson said.”And even of those, some are too small to carry enough food to get a child through along school day.”Swanson is researching the types of lunch boxes that best keep foods out of the”danger zone” — between 40 and 140 degrees.”When perishable foods stay in the danger zone for two hours or more, their safetybecomes questionable,” she said.Insulated lunch boxes and bags with reusable cold packs are the best way to keep coldfoods below 40 degrees. Nontoxic chemical packs can keep foods cold without the mess orbother of ice.Swanson said the hard plastic cold packs stay colder than soft-bag packs. And they’reless likely to break or get punctured.”Many parents freeze drink boxes to keep sandwiches or other foods cold. And thatis another option,” she said. “But then you have to be sure it thaws enough foryour child to have a drink at lunchtime.”Boxed drinks can leak, though. Freezing makes the liquid expand and that may tear thebox seams. One option for a lunchtime drink is UHT milk your child can safely drink atroom temperature. Swanson said most children like cold drinks, though, so freezing orchilling makes them more appealing.Using a cold source gives parents and kids more variety for lunch, too. If your onlychoices are room-temperature foods, you don’t have a lot of choices.”But one food that does stay safe and is nutritious is peanut butter,”Swanson said.Many children will eat peanut butter on apples, bananas, crackers, celery or insandwiches.But what about sandwiches with meats or salad-type fillings?last_img read more

Read More..

Healing Injuries with Acupuncture

first_imgAn injury can ruin your day on the trail in a split second and sideline you for weeks.  But before you wrap on a bandage and try to run through the pain, consider acupuncture.  Acupuncture is a tool of Chinese Medicine by which tiny, solid filament needles are inserted into the skin at strategic points to help the body heal naturally without drugs, surgery, or side effects.  Chinese medicine is a system of internal medicine treating everything from headaches to fibromyalgia to diabetes.  A branch of this, Die Da or “hit-fall” medicine, originated in Ancient China to treat injuries sustained from martial arts.  It quickly and effectively addresses trauma to any part of the body.Chinese medicine is based on the concept that “Qi” or vital energy flows through our bodies along with our blood.  Trauma can obstruct the flow of qi and blood, and if left untreated, or improperly treated, injury can become chronic, recurrent, or even debilitating.  Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe and effective medical therapy.  Acupuncture, combined with Tui na, a kind of massage, Chinese herbal medicine, Qi Gong or Tai Chi, and dietary therapy, are the major components of Chinese medicine and have been practiced for over 5000 years.The approach to treating sports injuries with Chinese Medicine differs from that of Western medicine in a few ways.  You have probably heard of the acronym R.I.C.E. from your doctor: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  Rest is obvious, and taking time to heal is essential.  Elevation is helpful as well.  Chinese medicine takes a different perspective on the ice and compression elements of this old adage, however.  Ice is rarely used in Chinese medicine.  The aphorism “Ice is for dead people,” explains the Chinese perspective.  In Chinese Medicine it is rarely used after the first 24 hours of an acute injury as it contracts blood vessels, stagnates and congeals blood and fluids which, in turn, slows healing and can lead to long term residual pain and eventually arthritis in the affected area.  It constricts the flow of blood and “qi” or vital energy in the area of the injury, further damaging the tissues.  Liniment or “herbal ice” is often used instead.Compression usually in the form of an elastic bandage wrapped snugly around an acute injury also stagnates blood and fluids, usually pushing them out to the outside edges of the bandage.  Here again, promoting the flow of blood and fluids by avoiding compression, helps the body heal faster.In more severe injuries, an x-ray or MRI is the best course to rule out fractures, ligament or tendon rupture.  In these cases Western diagnosis and treatment are important.  Acupuncture can be effective in speeding healing in these scenarios as well and in many cases can prevent the need for surgery.  When surgery is required, acupuncture is helpful in speeding recovery.  There are also topical and internal herbal remedies to stop bleeding immediately, ease pain and even knit broken bones.The most common sports injuries tend to be sprains.  This is especially common for trail runners.  Acupuncture can reduce pain and swelling in an acute sprain in a matter of minutes, reducing healing time dramatically.  Even for grade 2 and 3 sprains, where there is real ligament damage acupuncture is quite effective.  With sprains the earlier the treatment, the better.  Remember to only use ice for 10 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours.  See a practitioner of Chinese medicine as soon as possible.  Again, if severe, see your doctor to rule out tendon rupture or fracture.Tendonitis is also a very common sports injury caused by repetitive movement, and because it can rarely be traced back to an original injury, it is usually a late stage chronic pain by the time help is sought.  Tendonitis usually manifests in the rotator cuff, the Achilles tendon, wrist or even elbow.   A combination of acupuncture, massage, and liniment can make the biggest difference for this injury.  Carefully examining the movement that is causing this and retraining with amended position is essential.The type of pain, the aggravating factors, and the location are more important in diagnosing sports injuries than the severity of pain in Chinese medicine.  There are many types of pain indicating many types of injuries.  Pain that is shooting or refers down an extremity usually indicates nerve involvement.  Stabbing pain that gets better with exercise or dull pain that gets worse as the day goes on corresponds with different injuries. All can be treated equally well with Chinese Medicine.Whatever the injury, heal safely without drugs and reduce the need for surgery with Chinese Medicine, an inexpensive, holistic, benign therapy that works well independently or in conjunction with Western medicine.  Be sure to find a practitioner that is a licensed acupuncturist or diplomate of Oriental medicine with a four year degree.Dos and Don’ts:The sooner the better.The sooner the injury can be treated, the better the outcome.  Acupuncture frees the joint, the flow of blood and qi, vital energy, and facilitates healing.  However, if not treated, acute injuries can become chronic injuries.  Chronic injuries respond to acupuncture as well, though it may take longer to reach complete healing.How Long?Acute injury, depending on severity can be addressed in fewer treatments spaced closely together over a couple of weeks.  A more chronic injury tends to respond better to a weekly treatment over a longer period, depending on a variety of factors including severity, time of onset, and patient compliance.Ice is for dead peopleRemember to only use ice for 10 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours as it contracts blood vessels, stagnates and congeals blood and fluids which, in turn, slows healing and can lead to long term residual pain and eventually arthritis in the affected area.SurgerySeeking a Western diagnosis is important.  Seeking acupuncture soon after can help prevent the need for surgery by removing obstacles to healing.  When surgery is necessary, Chinese Medicine is indispensable to pre-op preparation and speeding recovery time.A Knowledgeable LiaisonA good acupuncturist will recommend an x-ray or MRI for a more serious injury to rule out rupture of tendon or bone fracture.  They will also advise when and what sort of movement is helpful, and when to rest.  Remember only to see a licensed acupuncturist with a four-year degree in Chinese Medicine.Be open to herbsYour acupuncturist can prescribe a topical liniment made from Chinese herbs to help penetrate the joint or muscle, stop pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, and disperse stagnant qi and blood.  Some topicals can stop bleeding, mend tendons, and even knit bone.Listen to your bodyChinese medicine is based on common sense.  Running or cycling through the pain may seem like a good idea, and sometimes, after the bulk of the healing has taken place, it is. Sometimes it truly slows healing.  Ask your acupuncturist.  She can also prescribe strengthening exercises and movements.Lara Ferguson Diaz, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M. (NCCAOM) is owner of Lutea Acupuncture & Herbs and practices at Integrative Family Medicine of Asheville: 828-582-5403.last_img read more

Read More..

NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Answers Questions From Public

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden fielded questions from the public Monday via a live Q&A session on The Guardian’s website. (Screen grab courtesy of The Guardian)Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who blew the whistle on several of its most covert surveillance programs earlier this month, fielded questions from the public for about two hours Monday via a live Q&A chat on The Guardian‘s website.The 29-year-old, who’s been in Hong Kong since the end of May before being fired from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, answered a range of inquiries spanning a host of topics, addressing remarks by US officials such as Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and former Vice President Dick Cheney that he is a “traitor” and insinuations he’s spying for the Chinese, to skepticism regarding the full extent of the outed programs.To the former, Snowden responded:“…it’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.”On the latter:“US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it’s important to understand that policy protection is no protection – policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection – a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the ‘widest allowable aperture,’ and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border. Your protected communications shouldn’t stop being protected communications just because of the IP they’re tagged with.”“This country is worth dying for,” Snowden responded when asked what he’d “say to others who are in a position to leak classified information that could improve public understanding of the intelligence apparatus of the USA and its effect on civil liberties.”In response to whether he believed the treatment of other whistleblowers, such as former NSA crypto-mathematician William Binney and former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake, influenced his path and whether he felt the “system works,” Snowden warned:“Binney, Drake, [John] Kiriakou, and [Bradley] Manning are all examples of how overly-harsh responses to public-interest whistle-blowing only escalate the scale, scope, and skill involved in future disclosures. Citizens with a conscience are not going to ignore wrong-doing simply because they’ll be destroyed for it: the conscience forbids it. Instead, these draconian responses simply build better whistleblowers. If the Obama administration responds with an even harsher hand against me, they can be assured that they’ll soon find themselves facing an equally harsh public response.“This disclosure provides Obama an opportunity to appeal for a return to sanity, constitutional policy, and the rule of law rather than men. He still has plenty of time to go down in history as the President who looked into the abyss and stepped back, rather than leaping forward into it. I would advise he personally call for a special committee to review these interception programs, repudiate the dangerous ‘State Secrets’ privilege, and, upon preparing to leave office, begin a tradition for all Presidents forthwith to demonstrate their respect for the law by appointing a special investigator to review the policies of their years in office for any wrongdoing. There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny – they should be setting the example of transparency.”The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald, who broke the news June 5 about the NSA’s collection of “the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon,” citing a “top secret court order issued in April,” began and ended the 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. EST session. (Snowden revealed himself as the The Guardian‘s source in a video interview posted on its site June 9.)“1) Why did you choose Hong Kong to go to and then tell them about US hacking on their research facilities and universities?” he wrote. “2) How many sets of the documents you disclosed did you make, and how many different people have them? If anything happens to you, do they still exist?”Snowden’s responses:“1) First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That’s not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.“Second, let’s be clear: I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target. Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn’t declared war on the countries – the majority of them are our allies – but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people. And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we’re not even fighting? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the “consent of the governed” is meaningless.“2) All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped,” he added.The Guardian‘s Q&A came a day after it published an expose based on “evidence…contained in documents – classified as top secret – which were uncovered by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by the Guardian,” it reads, revealing that the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and NSA spied on allies including Turkey, South Africa and Russia at G20 summits by intercepting foreign politicians’ communications via among other techniques, fake Internet cafes.To read a full transcript of The Guardian’s Q&A session with Edward Snowden CLICK HERE.last_img read more

Read More..

More companies turn to solar energy to reduce rising electricity costs

first_imgDemand for rooftop solar panels has increased sharply in recent years as more companies and households turn to solar energy to meet their electricity needs, an executive of a rooftop solar panel leasing and service company has said.The managing director of rooftop solar panel leasing company PT Xurya Daya Indonesia (Xurya), Eka Himawan, said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the number of companies that used solar energy had increased sharply because solar energy helped reduce electricity costs by up to 20 percent.“Demand for solar panels has increased significantly and we’re at a phase where it’s getting hard for supply to keep up with demand,” Eka said.  The total electricity produced from rooftop solar panels increased to around 4.92 megawatt as of December 2019.Meanwhile, the ministry’s renewable energy technical subdirectorate head, Martha Sibarani, said the government hoped the industrial sector could help boost the country’s renewable energy share toward the national energy mix.“Most solar panels have been installed on houses. If industries and businesses also use solar panels, then we’re sure that the share of renewable energy would spike,” she said.The increased use of the solar energy is expected to support the government’s efforts to achieve  23 percent renewable power production energy mix by 2025 as mandated by the General National Energy Planning road map. The country closed 2019 with a 12.36 percent renewable mix, far less than the 17.5 percent annual target on the road map.(mpr) Xurya, which was established in 2018, offers leasing and installment services for rooftop solar panels. The company has provided leasing and installation services to 20 companies engaged in the retail and manufacturing industries.Despite the rising growth rate, distrust over solar panel’s safety among manufacturing companies poses as a challenge for Xurya, he said.“Many companies think that electrical currents from solar panels could disrupt their electrical equipment It’s totally untrue,” he said.Users of solar panels in Indonesia increased from 351 users in January 2018 to 1,580 users in December 2019, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s data shows.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Read More..

Arsenal target Wolves centre-back Willy Boly

first_imgAdvertisement Boly scored the winner in Wolves’ win over Besiktas last week (Getty Images)Boly was signed in a £10 million deal from Porto in 2017 and played a key role in helping Wolves get promoted to the Premier League last year.Boly will have one year left on his contract with Wolves at the end of the season.AdvertisementAdvertisementMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityMeanwhile, Calum Chambers has praised David Luiz for the impact he has made at the club after the Brazilian scored the winning goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Sunday.‘David has been brilliant,’ said Chambersn. ‘He has come in and no-one in the club has a bad word to say about him.‘He is one of the nicest guys I have met, he talks to you, gives you advice and makes everyone feel like he is giving you his undivided attention.‘Obviously he was won things and I haven’t won as many things as he has so there are things I can learn from him, it is always good to have experience like that in the team.‘Off the pitch, he is a great guy and on the pitch he brings his qualities and is playing well at the moment.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Arsenal target Wolves centre-back Willy Boly Comment Advertisement Willy Boly is on Arsenal’s radar (AMA/Getty Images)Arsenal are targeting a move for Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to reports.The Gunners streghtened their options in central defence this summer as they signed David Luiz from Chelsea.But Unai Emery is keen to bolster his defence even further in the January transfer window.According to The Sun, Boly is on Arsenal’s shortlist but Wolves will strive to keep the 28-year-old at Molineaux.ADVERTISEMENT Metro Sport ReporterMonday 7 Oct 2019 3:52 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link42Shareslast_img read more

Read More..

Trinity adds new senior non-executive director

first_imgIndependent E&P company Trinity Exploration & Production has appointed a new senior independent non-executive director.Trinity said on Wednesday that Nicholas Clayton was named the new senior independent non-executive director with immediate effect.Clayton was also appointed as the chair of the Remuneration Committee and as a member of the Audit Committee.He previously provided strategic and corporate finance advice to, and has been a non-executive director of, a number of public and private oil and gas companies since 2007.Before that, Clayton held a series of senior oil and gas corporate finance roles, including global co-head of oil and gas corporate finance for Canaccord Adams and global head of oil and gas corporate finance for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.He started his career with BP, before moving into financial services where he specialized in the oil and gas sector.Clayton brings 37 years of experience in the oil and gas sector to the board as a director and as an adviser. He currently serves as a non-executive director of Alpha Petroleum Resources.Within the last five years, he previously held directorships or partnerships in Yellowstone Environmental Services, Sterling Energy, and Circle Oil.Bruce Dingwall, executive chairman of Trinity, said: “I am delighted to welcome Nick to our board. The breadth and depth of his sector specific advisory experience will provide the board with additional perspective and combined with our existing board members, strengthens the industry, M&A, and capital markets experience as we continue to grow and develop Trinity’s asset portfolio.”In recent company news, Trinity submitted the first phase of its field development plan for the TGAL Area, located on the Galeota Block, offshore Trinidad, to the country’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.The FDP, submitted earlier this month, is the first phase of a potential wider step-out development moving across the Galeota anticline to fully develop the reserves potential from the large volumes of oil in place which stand at around 700 mmbbls.last_img read more

Read More..

Urban Renewal

first_imgWhen most people think of urban renewal, their thoughts go to upgrading buildings, streets, and the like.  Mike Larson, the defensive coordinator for the Wendall Phillips Academy football team in Chicago, has his own version of urban renewal.  When school ended last spring, he told Jamal Brown that his summer assignment was to stay alive.Most of you have heard of all the shootings that have occurred in the lower-income areas of Chicago this past year.  Jamal Brown lives in one of these neighborhoods.  In fact, Coach Larson wanted Brown to stay with him, but he was remodeling this summer so he could not take Brown into his home.  This is what has happened in Brown’s family since he was a small child.  (1) his father died of a heart attack; (2) his mother was a drug addict and finally wound up in jail; (3) he went to live with his grandmother and while there she was shot and killed by his grandfather; (4) he was raised by an aunt who finally took Jamal to Chicago from Detroit.  Now you know why he was told to just try to stay alive.The Academy did not win this year’s state title, but they did finish runner-up.  All of their senior football players will graduate in June.  This includes Jamal.  Just a few short years ago, Phillips Academy was on the “fail” list as a school, but now they have the top state ranking in Illinois.  The football coaches do not take credit for all of this improvement, but they certainly had been a dominating factor in keeping these kids along with their friends in school.last_img read more

Read More..

Indiana AG urges caution when seeking storm damage repairs

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is advising residents to approach storm damage repairs with caution. Be vigilant when selecting workers or companies to restore damage caused by recent storms.Hill has launched “Double check before you write a check” – a consumer protection campaign aimed at safeguarding Hoosiers from fraudulent business practices in the wake of severe weather that leaves homes, vehicles or other property damaged.Hill says residents should thoroughly scrutinize businesses or individuals that offer services door-to-door. Property owners should check backgrounds and always remember the best decision is an informed decision.Consider following these tips: Avoid agreeing to any repair or restoration work on the spot during initial contact with anyone offering services. Do not immediately sign contracts or agreements of any kind without first gathering information and researching businesses. Look for signs of credibility such as official websites that can be easily navigated and verified. Seek reviews and testimonials from former customers.Hoosiers are encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General if they believe they have been scammed after a severe weather event. They may do so by visiting here or calling 1-800-382-5516.last_img read more

Read More..

Alvarez readies for final Camp Randall experience

first_imgMATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoHead football coach Barry Alvarez has a post–game policy for his team: win or lose, the players have 24 hours to forget the previous contest. There is no time to dwell on what has happened and what can no longer be controlled. Alvarez holds himself accountable to the same rule, and last Saturday’s loss at Penn State was no exception.“When I talked to [the media] after the game it was beyond me,” Alvarez said. “I put that game behind me as soon as I talked to the kids. We were beaten by a better football team. I felt our guys competed, but Penn State was a better football team than we were. I just sat back and looked at all we have to play for in this game, all the things that are on the line in this game coming back home. I put that game behind me.”Despite being all but eliminated from the Big Ten Championship race, the Badgers (8–2, 5–2) have a multitude of reasons to look toward the weekend’s match up with Iowa (5–4, 3–3). In addition to being the seniors’ last home game, Saturday will be the last time Alvarez will make the trip through the tunnel under sections L and M and onto the field at historic Camp Randall Stadium.“I really haven’t thought of it much,” Alvarez said regarding his final head coaching appearance at home. “My weekly schedule is pretty much routine. As it gets closer to Saturday, it’ll probably hit me.”The final two conference games Alvarez has and will coach, seem to be an appropriate end to a tremendously successful career.“My last two games as a coach here, I play in my home state, and then play the school that gave me the opportunity,” said Alvarez, referring to his childhood days in Langeloth, Pa., and his first Division I coaching job as an assistant under Hayden Fry at Iowa.“I was very fond of the eight years I coached at the University of Iowa. I was fortunate enough to be around some unbelievable coaches. It’s been well written about the staff we had and how successful they’ve been,” Alvarez added.After his time at Iowa, Alvarez was hired as an assistant under Lou Holtz at Notre Dame. In 1990, Alvarez was named head coach at University of Wisconsin and given the responsibility of resurrecting a football program that had compiled a 9–36 record over the past 4 years.“My first year, we just wanted to get a different color practice jersey, and they turned me down because we didn’t have enough money,” Alvarez recalled. “We’ve changed everything, from how the offices ran, to people in the stadium and interest in the program, to the type of players that we have, to facilities.”Alvarez has been undeniably successful in his 16 years as head football coach at Wisconsin. He has led the Badgers to 10 bowl games in the last 12 years. This comes after the school made only six postseason appearances in the program’s previous 103 years. Additionally, Alvarez is largely responsible for today’s overwhelming popularity of Wisconsin football. As evidence of what a staple Wisconsin football has become, at least 70,000 people have packed Camp Randall for 80 straight Badger home games.Despite all of his achievements at Wisconsin, including the unexpected success of this year’s team, he hasn’t questioned his decision to pass the torch to defensive coordinator Bret Bielema.“I try to think things out well enough before I make a decision,” Alvarez responded when asked whether he has questioned his decision to step down. “I’ve never looked back and thought ‘I shouldn’t have done this.’ I really feel comfortable and I’m very at peace with my decision. I’m just really pleased that we had this type of year.”last_img read more

Read More..

Bielema announces 1st recruiting class

first_imgThe first of February 2006: A day that will go down in history for UW athletics.A new era began for the University of Wisconsin football program Wednesday, as Bret Bielema officially became the successor of Barry Alvarez, nominally taking hold of the post he has run since Wisconsin’s 24-10 victory over Auburn in the Capital One Bowl. He celebrated the occasion by unveiling his first recruiting class as head coach of the Badgers, a class he praised for its loyalty to the program, sticking with Wisconsin despite the multitude of coaching staff changes.”Obviously this has been a unique recruiting process,” Bielema said. “Everybody wants fast guys, everybody wants strong guys, guys who can make plays, all the little things that can make a difference on the football field. But the part that gets left out of the equation is what goes on [in their heart] … I think these guys, because of the way this recruiting season has gone, have shown great perseverance.”Bielema also stated that he expects to have his coaching staff completed in the upcoming weeks.The Wisconsin class was not ranked particularly high nationally. According to Rivals.com, the UW class was 43rd in the country, slightly ahead of Purdue (50th) and behind Michigan State (33rd). ESPN.com ranked the Badger recruiting class even lower, as 67th best in the country, one spot ahead of Northwestern, with only Minnesota (70th) and Indiana (81st) finishing below them. Ohio State was the top ranked Big Ten school in both recruiting services.Bielema was not at all worried about the perceived strength of the class, however, making the point that the accuracy of such rankings has proven to be sketchy at best in the past.”I do believe that the University of Wisconsin is a development program,” Bielema said. “Our guys are going to play their best football in year three and four. Obviously, we hope they’re good in year one and two as well.”Bielema was adamant in his belief that working shorthanded, while much of the UW coaching staff was in flux, did not play a negative role in the recruiting class”I don’t feel it has any [impact],” Bielema said, praising the efforts of assistants Paul Chryst (offensive coordinator) and Henry Mason (receivers coach) who were held over from the Alvarez staff.”There was never a time where I wasn’t able to get anywhere or see anybody because of lack of man power,” he said.Bielema stated that when he first began looking at recruits, he identified several positions that needed to be recruited heavily.”I felt there were three areas that I really needed to be strong in with this recruiting class,” Bielema stated. “There was an immediate need at wide receiver, [defensive backs] and offensive linemen.”To that end, the Badgers were successful in filling their roster in areas of need, as they signed four players at each of the positions plus several other athletes that could move into any one of those roles. The team also signed a pair of tight ends to try and reload that position.Although Bielema wouldn’t speculate as to how many recruits from this crop could see playing time in the upcoming season, there are several safe bets as players who could play a significant role in the 2006 campaign.At least three players on the roster are expected to possibly be four-year starters for the team. Running back Lance Smith (5-foot-10, 197 lbs, Warren, Ohio) and wide receiver Lance Kendricks (Milwaukee, Rufus King High) are considered to be the class of the staff, both bringing loads of potential to Madison.Smith was rated among the top 20 running backs in the nation by Rivals.com, compiling over 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns his senior year. He is already considered to be a prime candidate to fill the starting running back position vacated by Brian Calhoun, who declared early for the NFL Draft as a junior.”Running back was also a priority,” Bielema said. “After we got Lance committed, I really didn’t feel a strong need to go anywhere else, even with the announcement of Brian [Calhoun], because we signed three running backs a year ago.”Bielema’s confidence in the Badgers’ running back position speaks volumes of the respect he has for Smith’s ability.”He has the ability to move a lot of different directions in a short amount of space,” Bielema said. “He’s got good hands, good size, good speed. [He’s] someone that, along with the group of running backs that we have, can compete for the start.”Kendricks was one of the in-state recruits to sign with UW. He was rated as the second best prospect in Wisconsin and among the top 30 wide receivers in the country by Rivals.com. “[Kendricks is a] guy that had many different opportunities throughout the country. He’s a big athlete that can run,” Bielema said. “We’re going to start him at the wide receiver position. We think he can come in and add a presence there early on.””He is a taller guy that doesn’t have taller guy problems,” Mason said.One of the feats the first year head coach was proud of was the fact that they managed to recruit Wisconsin exceptionally well.”I do know this: Anybody that we offered [a scholarship to] in the state of Wisconsin is in this program now,” Bielema said.As well as UW did in Wisconsin they also raked in bodies from across the state line in Minnesota.Three players were recruited from the North Star State, and another recruit — Brad Thorson of Mequon, Wis. — had committed to play for the Golden Gophers, not to mention Bielema’s theft of the Minnesota’s defensive backs coach, Kerry Cooks.”[It will] probably spice [the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry] up a little bit,” a grinning Bielema said of the Minnesota recruiting coup.last_img read more

Read More..