Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke plays well again, but coach Quin Snyder isn’t worried about who starts

first_img Marc Gasol leads Memphis to win SALT LAKE CITY — A couple of weeks ago, Jazz coach Quin Snyder had to field questions about whether Enes Kanter or Rudy Gobert should be starting down low. Lately the question’s been, who should start at point guard — Dante Exum or Trey Burke?Even though Burke has clearly outplayed Exum over the past five games — including Wednesday night when he scored 21 points to Exum’s zero — Snyder isn’t worried about who starts and is pleased with Burke’s play off the bench.“There is this fixation with the bench and starting,’’ he said. “But to me, what Trey Burke has embraced is not so much the bench, but I want him to do what’s best for our team. The point is, he has embraced being a better player. He had a good game tonight and what he’s done is put more focus on his defense, which is really concentration.’’As for Exum, who shot 0 for 5 and was held scoreless for the third time in five games, Snyder says he’s not worried.“He’s had off-nights when he’s come off the bench,’’ he said. “Ironically, I thought he played really well the first two or three minutes and was really attacking. I thought he was dynamic with the ball. As the game went on, I thought he (was) thinking a little more and being less aggressive.’’The offensive numbers between the two point guards couldn’t be more dramatic over the past five games. While Burke is averaging 16.6 ppg since a big win over Brooklyn, Exum is averaging 1.2 ppg over the same stretch on 2-of-21 shooting.Burke says he’s taking his coach’s advice and playing with more aggression and focusing on his defense when he enters the game, usually two-thirds of the way through the first quarter.“I’m just searching for opportunities to make plays for the team,’’ Burke said. “Coach tells me to come in and be aggressive and if the shot’s there, take it and if not look to get into the paint and create for others. It’s just a mindset to be aggressive.’’Exum admits it’s been tough going up against a bevy of the league’s top point guards, including Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard and Mike Conley in the past week. As a backup he didn’t have to go head to head with the elite point guards as he has recently.“I’ve been adjusting a lot,’’ Exum said. “Obviously you’re going against some of the best point guards in the world and it’s going to be a lot different going against the backup point guards. It’s a big step up. I’m just taking it game by game and trying to adjust.’’As for his poor shooting, Exum said, “I’m still trying to find myself in the offense and trying to find what works with the rotation, but that will come and I’ll find it.’’Burke started 68 of 70 games when he was healthy as a rookie last year and he can sympathize with Exum and the struggles he’s going through.“You’ve got to just play through it. I think everybody goes through it,’’ Burke said. “I went through it, everybody goes through it, some more than others. My advice to him is to continue to play through it, get better every day, watch film, and look for areas where you can improve. You have to ignore everything else and focus on the game.’’Snyder said he’s not worried about Exum, despite his 9.5 shooting percentage over the past five games.“It’s a process for him,’’ Snyder said. “As far as confidence I don’t lose confidence in him. I really believe in him and his ability to improve. I don’t think we can define Dante’s game yet.’’ Jazz have piled up impressive rebounding statistics Related Utah Jazz Analysis: Crisp execution, tough defense lead Memphis to 100-90 win over Utahlast_img read more

Steelers’ big win over Falcons felt a little unexpected (Oct. 10)

first_imgSTEELERS CB JOE HADEN shut down the very potent Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones, in the Steelers’ 41-17 victory, Oct. 7.There was a certain cloud of doom hanging over Heinz Field as Steeler Nation anticipated the invasion of the Atlanta Falcons playing the Steelers, Oct. 7. Both teams were reeling from sudden and unexpected losses to begin their season and as of game time, neither squad seemed to have discovered the antidote to end their misfortunes. But when the final gun sounded, the Steelers, on a very hot and humid afternoon at Heinz Field, achieved a very, very unexpected 41-17 victory over a usually high-flying Falcons team.The Falcons swooped into Pittsburgh flying very eagle-like with that predatory “look” in their eyes, talons gleaming and extended focused on their prey. But they exited the Steel City appearing as if they were related to a flock of New York City Central Park pigeons, waiting for a few stale bread crumbs to be tossed their way.There was something different about this day, this game and this team. During their previous four games when facing the offensive coordinators of the Browns, Chiefs, Buccaneers and Ravens, Keith Butler, the defensive coordinator of the Steelers, appeared to be playing checkers in regards to his defensive game plan while the opposing offensive coordinators were playing chess.Everyone was pining about the subpar defensive talent that the Steelers were trotting onto the field, but many observers failed to point out that many of the defensive schemes that Mr. Butler devised never transitioned from the blackboard to the gridiron.Extraordinary Steelers cornerback Joe Haden had his mojo working on the Falcons’ all-world wide receiver Julio Jones, blanketing him for almost 60 minutes. Haden limited Jones to a mere five catches for a measly 62 yards. That, my friends, is a very seldom accomplished feat by any defensive back that is charged with covering Jones.Although the Pittsburgh offense was by far the most balanced it’s been all season, the “bromance” between Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown almost short-circuited Pittsburgh’s offensive momentum right before the intermission. With 34 seconds left in the first half, and the Steelers hanging on to a 13-10 lead, the Steelers had the ball, first-and-goal at the Atlanta 7-yard line. Roethlisberger attempted a pass to Brown which was incomplete. On the very next play when “Big” Ben attempted to force a pass to his “buddy,” the pass was intercepted by the Falcons, erasing a possible three or six points from the board for the Steelers! Brown seemed to exhibit a sort of “pseudo” modesty after the game. When Brown was asked, “Does it feel good to have your first 100-yard receiving game (for the 2018 season?)” Brown acted as if he didn’t notice. “Well, I’m counting wins. You can probably ask Dom (Rinelli) how many (100-yard) games I got.”Hmm, or maybe someone should ask Randy Fichtner, the Steelers’ offensive coordinator, how many 100-yard receiving games that Antonio Brown has, being as though Fichtner bore the brunt of Brown’s wrath during the Steelers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field a few weeks ago.The Steelers defense also received a few “questionable” penalties and Mike Tomlin was not pleased. As far as the hands-to-the-face calls on Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree: “Those look like legitimate calls, we got to get better there but some of the other stuff is a joke. We got to get a better National Football League. These penalties are costing people games and jobs. We got to get them correct so I am pissed about it, to be quite honest with you.”The following is my advice to the NFL. If a dragon is asleep, don’t provoke it unless your fire retardant suit has been tested.(Aubrey Bruce: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com) Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierlast_img read more

Dennis Rodman benched for Yao Ming at Pyongyang friendly?

first_imgPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Has Dennis Rodman, the former NBA star-turned pal of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, been benched for Chinese hoop legend Yao Ming?The former Houston Rockets center and eight-time NBA all-star took center court in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, on Tuesday as Chinese and North Korean basketball players held a friendly match, part of a high-profile sports exchange between the two countries intended to help thaw ties that had been growing chilly over the past year.Senior ruling party officials turned up for the game, but Kim, who was famously serenaded with the birthday song by Rodman in Pyongyang in January 2014, didn’t attend.On the court, Chinese female basketball players who are visiting Pyongyang this week mixed together with North Korean female players to form two teams, called “Friendship” and “Unity.”The Unity team won the match, 107 to 106.Yao Ming, towering over everyone else in the stadium, congratulated the players at the end of the game.“Today’s friendly match will be a display of top basketball skills and the great sportsmanship of all the players from both of our countries,” Kim Il Guk, the North Korean minister of sports, said before the game began.After a period of frosty ties, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited China three times this year, and traditional proclamations of friendship between the two neighbors have been resurrected.Speculation continues as to whether Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea in return.Yao Ming, who at 7′6″ (2.29 meters) was one of the tallest players in the NBA, is the head of China’s Basketball Association.He arrived with a high-level delegation on Monday that includes China’s equivalent of a sports minister. In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, photo provided on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, by the North Korean government, Chinese hoop legend Yao Ming, center rear, poses for a group photo with Chinese and North Korean basketball players after their friendly match in Pyongyang, North Korea.(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)last_img read more

Spring opens

first_imgPAKENHAM Garden Club will be holding its annual Garden Expo at Pakenham Racecourse on Saturday 4 September from 9am to…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Hawks drop home opener to Sacred Heart

first_imgFor the second consecutive week, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, couldn’t hold on to an early lead and went down to a gridiron defeat in the Hawks home opener, 32-13, to Sacred Heart of New York. Ryan Peterson’s school-record 46-yard field staked Monmouth (0-2) to a quick 3-0 edge, and then the Hawks built on it when Bill Rankin hooked up with Billy Lynch on a 43-yard scoring strike. With the PAT, Monmouth led 10-0 in the first. It was downhill from there, however, as the defending Northeast Conference Champions tied the game in the second quarter and outscored Monmouth 15-3 in the third quarter to take charge. The big play for Sacred Heart (1-1) was a defensive touchdown in the second quarter. With Monmouth leading 10-3 and driving, Pete Athans intercepted a Rankin pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. That enabled the Pioneers to tie it at 10-10 at halftime. The Pioneers scored on the opening drive of the second half as quarterback Joe Kroells hit Doug Geoffrey on a 48-yard touchdown pass. Sacred Heart added a two-point conversion as holder Andy Gonzalez fond Mike Pesier in the end zone. Peterson’s second field goal of the game closed the deficit to 18-13. But on their next possession, the Pioneers scored on Marlon Ward’s fumble recovery in the end zone. Tailback Jason Bonadies was caught from behind as he was nearing the end zone and fumbled the ball after he was hit by Monmouth’s Joe Billups. The Hawks stripped Bonadies of the ball, but Ward was in the right place at the right time to fall on the fumble and the resulting TD. Sacred Heart added to its 25-13 lead in the fourth quarter when Bonadies, who gained 107 yards on 23 carries, scored on a 12-yard run. Rankin was 15-41 for 183 yards and one touchdown. But he was intercepted three times and sacked twice. Lynn caught five of his passes for 74 yards. Billy Smith, Monmouth’s leading rusher, left the game in the first quarter with a sprained ankle. Joe Migliore led Monmouth in rushing with 65 yards on 20 carries. In their season opener at Lafayette College, the Hawks flew out to a 16-0 lead in the second quarter, only to lose 30-29 on a late field goal. Monmouth hits the road Saturday night for a nonconference game with Morgan State University in Baltimore.last_img read more

Solskjaer says United will have to win FA Cup the hard way

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer accepts Manchester United’s quest for FA Cup glory will have to be earned “the hard way” as he prepares for a fifth-round clash at Chelsea on Monday.United’s reward for overcoming Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the last round is a second trip to London to take on another of their Premier League top-four rivals.But Solskjaer pointed out that the first of his two triumphs in the competition as a player – as part of United’s memorable treble in 1999 – was equally as onerous.United’s interim manager said: “In ’99 we beat them down at Stamford Bridge to get to the final. And we beat Arsenal and Liverpool as well.“We did it the hard way then and we’ll have to do it the hard way again if we want to get to the final. I’m looking forward to it.”Solskjaer suffered his first defeat in his 12th match as United caretaker in midweek after Paris St Germain clinched a 2-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 fixture.Unless they stage a remarkable comeback at the Parc des Princes in the second leg then the FA Cup will be the only chance Solskjaer has of winning silverware.The Norwegian will be without key pair Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial at Stamford Bridge – both of whom suffered injuries against PSG – and is not about to take Chelsea lightly despite two humiliating away defeats recently.Solskjaer was in attendance as the Blues were hammered 6-0 by Manchester City last Sunday, a loss that came less than two weeks after a 4-0 humbling at Bournemouth.Solskjaer added: “I went to see them against City and City were clinical, of course. But they’ve got some fantastic players, Chelsea as well.“They could have scored two or three easily in the first half as well in that game. There are fine margins. They could easily have been two or three up against Bournemouth as well when they lost 4-0.“It’s those little things that decide games. They have been up and down, but down there they’re a tough team to play.”Former United winger Angel Di Maria provided both assists in PSG’s victory on Tuesday night, returning to haunt his old club after a largely uninspiring 12 months at Old Trafford.United paid a then British record £59.7million for the Argentinian in August 2014 and have since spent heavily on the likes of Paul Pogba, Martial and Romelu Lukaku.The trio have had varying degrees of success and, when asked whether United’s challenge was not their outlay but finding a way to accommodate all their talent, Solskjaer responded: “You want to get the best out of your best players, of course.“That’s a challenge all the time because we’ve got so many players. You don’t just put every single good player in their preferred position, we need to have a system that we start from.“But there are a couple of players that you might want to build your team around.”last_img read more

Spector’s side: Forensics key

first_imgThe lawyer has claimed attorney-client privilege but the judge said that does not apply to issues of destruction of evidence. The prosecution believes the item was a piece of acrylic fingernail missing from one of Clarkson’s thumbs. The issue has only been discussed outside the presence of the jury, but prosecutor Alan Jackson was allowed to pose hypothetical questions about it to Herold to try to show that the disputed evidence would have been important to the case. “If that small white object had been turned over, would it have been helpful in reconstructing the crime scene?” Jackson asked. “Maybe and maybe not. … You don’t know if you don’t have the object whether it’s important,” she said in the slow, deliberate tone she used throughout her testimony. “So it could have been important?” asked Jackson. “It could have,” said the witness. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The prosecution’s top forensic expert in the Phil Spector murder trial testified Monday she studied data in the case for more than a year, perused 446 pages of evidence, wrote her own reports but could not determine that Spector fired the gun that killed actress Lana Clarkson. “In any of your reports, did you conclude with any degree of certainty that Phil Spector pulled the trigger on that Cobra (revolver) on Feb. 3, 2003?” an attorney for the defense, Linda Kenney-Baden asked the witness, sheriff’s criminalist Lynne Herold. “No,” Herold replied. It was the last question asked by Kenney-Baden after a two-day cross-examination that focused on minutia of blood-spatter evidence and the positions of Spector and Clarkson in the foyer of his mansion. The witness said she also could not say where Clarkson’s hands were at the time the gun discharged. And she acknowledged that Spector could have been walking or running toward Clarkson rather than standing in front of her when the gunshot killed her, a scenario described by the prosecution. Herold, the last prosecution witness, testified last week that Spector, arms raised, was within two feet to three feet of Clarkson when she was shot through the mouth, based on how close Spector had to be to have blood spatter on parts of his jacket. Clarkson’s body was found slumped in a chair in the foyer of Spector’s home. The defense contends she shot herself. In eight weeks of testimony, prosecutors have not presented any witness to say that Spector fired the shot. The judge, meanwhile, announced that an appellate court had rejected an appeal by a former Spector attorney who was ruled in contempt for refusing to testify to the jury about seeing a defense forensic investigator pick up a small white object at the death scene that was never given to prosecutors. last_img read more

China’s exports

first_imgReseda Phil Spector trial Re “Spector defense expert attacked on ‘epiphany’” (Aug. 16): Even though I studied law in years past, I am amazed at the lack of common sense and simple logic in the trial of Phil Spector. Based on actual facts, and past behavior, he intended to engage in sexual acts with Lana Clarkson, and as in the past he had used his gun to “persuade” his victim. So the question I have for the judge and prosecutor to ask, and defense to answer, is a simple one: What was the purpose of having a loaded gun at that “social encounter”? Spector should be put away for life, and this ridiculous trial put to an end with simple logic, which is possible even in a legal environment. It is called common sense. – Michael A. Campos West Hills Sacramento spenders Re “All fall down” (Viewpoint, Aug. 12): Richard Little is deceptive with his analysis of fatal infrastructure. The reality is that we already pay billions of dollars in fuel and gasoline sales taxes, which are intended for transportation infrastructure. The real trouble is that the Sacramento politicians diverted these taxes to the general fund. The self-serving Sacramento politicians misuse these tax revenues to pay for their pet, vote-buying projects and illegal aliens, not for the infrastructure. Recently the California voters approved nearly $40 billion in bonds for infrastructure upgrading. The author completely ignored this as well. Now the Sacramento spenders are attempting to defraud the public once more and redirect some of the bond funds to other darling projects. – Mort Arditti Los Angeles Locals working Re “City Pandering Department” (Our Opinions, Aug. 12): You ended your editorial with a real mouthful: “So the moral is this: If you want sensible planning, instead of senseless pandering, you need to buy the politicians’ votes or scare them to death by organizing your community.” I’m not sure you really meant to be this candid, but amen to that. You guys (you know who you are) can go on buying politicians’ votes, that’s a law enforcement matter. We “locals” are proud to be able to strike fear in the hearts of city officials. Let’s hear it for organized local communities who demand and get sensible planning and for Councilwoman Wendy Greuel who refused to be “worked.” – Roberta Actor-Thomas Tujunga Fixed sports Re “Ring masters” (Aug. 12): When an animal has to have its eyes smeared with Vaseline or be weakened in order for someone to fight it, ultimately to its death, it’s hardly a fair contest. It is a sport of cowards, just like chasing a fox to exhaustion before finally dispatching it, attaching blades to the feet of birds in cockfighting (another “tradition”) or dogfighting. If these people enjoy the pageantry of the “sport,” the music and all that goes with it, just take the bull out of the equation since supposedly that’s not what anyone is there to see anyway. Or replace the bull with another man and have them fight to the death as gladiators did. I doubt people would be taking their 7-year-old daughters to see that. – James Cannon Sherman Oaks Spewing filth Re “Apartment smoke” (Your Opinions, Aug. 8): Now that we have a ban on smoking in parks, we should enact one to prevent smoking in apartments where kids are trapped in walkways, stairways and poolside by smokers spewing their filth into the very air we breathe. It is not enough that they generate secondhand smoke, but many smokers neglect to put out their smoke when finished and choose to just let it burn itself out, spewing even more of the obnoxious smell. Smokers do not realize that they can be detected from as much as 20 feet away by a nonsmoker just by the smell that lingers on them. It is a shame to have to run an air conditioner because opening the windows lets in the smoke from the apartments below and next to us. – Michael Nitzahn Tarzana Lack of oversight The latest report disclosing that LAUSD students showed little improvement over last year in state standardized test results should not come as a surprise. The fact that more than two-thirds of students in nearly all grade levels are not proficient in English and math scores, and continue to lag behind other states, comes on the heels of increasing evidence that the board of education is lacking in management oversight. Last month alone it was revealed that Belmont Learning Center costs continue to soar. Its original price tag was $45 million. The final tab will top $400 million. Then taxpayers learned that in the past five years, LAUSD officials have been forced to return all but a fraction of $62 million in state reimbursement funds because of flawed or incomplete applications. – Robert McArthur Mar Vista Society of blamers Re “Wrong way on illegal immigration” (Their Opinions, Aug 13): We cannot in good conscience continue to blame the federal government for the problems with illegal immigration. I grew up in south-of-the-boulevard Woodland Hills in the early ’60s. Back then it was a working-class area, with friendly neighbors who socialized together and spent weekends working in the yard. Thirty years later, I’m back and the neighbors are strangers to me. Their gardeners are illegals, as are their maids and the “contractors” who come to work on their homes. At the corner of Fallbrook Avenue and Ventura Boulevard, the day laborers hang out, sometimes 100 strong, disrupting traffic and local businesses. Who’s hiring them? We are. If you really want to know who’s at fault in this mess, wave to him or her when you brush your teeth in the morning. – Rod C. Venger Woodland Hills Mortgage bailout My daughter and her family live in an apartment because they know they cannot afford a home. There is no reason why they should stand by and watch Los Angeles bail out people who bought homes way beyond their ability to pay and are in danger of losing those homes. Besides, since these unfortunate homeowners are having trouble making their mortgage payments, what makes city officials think recipients of the proposed low-interest loans will ever have the funds to repay them? – Michael Wiener Encino Free Reggie Re “Reggie the escape artist” (Aug. 16): While the article describing Reggie’s latest bid for freedom was somewhat amusing, it demonstrated the plight of animals kept in captivity for the pleasure of their captors. If there were real concerns for his well-being, zoo officials would relocate Reggie to the wilds of a swamp where he could be among his own species, and seek out his own pleasures, in keeping with nature’s true intent. – Steven Sapkin, M.D. Woodland Hills Full of it I enjoyed seeing the smiling picture of Reggie the alligator on your Aug. 10 front page, but I felt something was missing. Why, of course! It was Mayor Villaraigosa that should have been right next to Reggie with his big smile. Besides their smiles, they have quite a bit in common. Both are attention grabbers (Reggie for his cuteness), both have eluded people for months (the mayor and his extramarital affair), and one is a relative of the croc while the other is full of crock. – Erin Ziliak Sylmar160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re “Recall shakes up toy industry” (Business, Aug. 16): We, the American taxpayers and consumers, will carry all of the financial burden of disposing of the lead-laden toys. With this occurrence, along with the “dog food” fiasco and others, are there any reasonable people around who are not part of the mercantile/manufacturing financial hegemony and who still believe that we really save money in the long run by having China do our manufacturing for us? – Leonard McGinnis Granada Hills Another bad idea Re “Breeding ground” (Aug. 15): The color photo on your Aug. 15 front page is exactly what we can expect if or when the concrete washes are removed to create a riparian zone. There is not enough water to keep them flowing so the water does not just puddle and invite mosquitoes. Also, all the trash that is thrown in the streets will be added to the mix, homeless will camp and we will have more disease than we can handle. Another bad, costly idea from our politicians. – Joann Kibler last_img read more

Religious unity urged in Anbar as Shiite leader visits

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Iraq’s Shiites account for about 60 percent of the population, while the Sunni Arabs and the mostly Sunni Kurds make up most of the remainder. Al-Hakim, son and heir apparent of Iraq’s top Shiite politician, struck a note of national unity in Anbar, where a tribal revolt has significantly reduced violence in the vast province and inspired similar uprisings against al-Qaida elsewhere in central Iraq and Baghdad. Al-Maliki’s government has grudgingly supported the uprisings, but has expressed concern that the new Sunni militias must operate under its control. “Iraq does not belong to the Sunnis or the Shiites alone; nor does it belong to the Arabs or the Kurds and Turkomen,” al-Hakim told his hosts in the provincial capital Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad. “Today, we must stand up and declare that Iraq is for all Iraqis.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BAGHDAD – In a major reconciliatory gesture, a leader from Iraq’s largest Shiite party paid a rare visit Sunday to the Sunni Anbar province, delivering a message of unity to tribal sheiks who have staged a U.S.-backed revolt against al-Qaida militants. Ammar al-Hakim’s visit was the latest sign that key Iraqi politicians may be working toward reconciliation independently of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, which has faced criticism for doing little to iron out differences among the country’s Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis. Sunni Arab Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi visited Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, last month at the holy city of Najaf south of Baghdad. The visit amounted to an unprecedented Sunni Arab endorsement of al-Sistani’s role as the nation’s guardian. Al-Hashemi’s Iraqi Islamic Party also has been distancing itself from militant Sunni Arab groups and has in recent months forged closer ties with al-Hakim’s Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, the country’s largest Shiite party, and the two major Kurdish parties. last_img read more

Sacramento: Land of the migrating politicos

first_imgI’m annoyed at Jackie Speier and Tom McClintock, and I’m not afraid to say why. These two state senators are after my dream job. Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, too. And considering the name recognition of this bunch, I don’t have a shot. In fact, there are at least five state senators interested in succeeding Cruz Bustamante as lieutenant governor next year, not to mention an assortment of other political types. Don’t they have better things to do than spend eight years in the cushiest job in Sacramento, a job clearly meant for someone as unskilled as myself? I’ve been eyeing the job ever since Bustamante burst on the public scene with his dubious campaign for governor (“Don’t vote for recall. But if you do, vote for me”). I had forgotten the state had a backup governor, so infrequent were Bustamante’s public appearances until that point. This replaced my desire to get appointed to one of those high-paying state commissions or being the state’s poet laureate. It turns out that position is pro bono. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The job as California’s second-in-command, however, pays quite well: $132,000 a year, to be exact. I’m not going to reveal the shamefully low wages of a newspaper columnist/editorial writer, but suffice it to say it would be an enormous raise. And from what I can tell, the job’s not all that tough. The L.G. sits on some panels, such as the State Lands Commission and the University of California Board of Regents. He (because there’s never been a she to hold the job) is the ceremonial head of the state Senate. Occasionally he writes strongly worded letters. As chairman of the state’s Commission on Economic Development, he must travel to exotic lands such as Thailand on trade missions. And, most importantly, the L.G. baby-sits when the real governor leaves the state. Otherwise, the L.G. is left to his own devices and causes, with a staff of 29 to help out. At least, that’s the crew the current L.G. has. Clearly, I’m not the only one who has discovered the allure of this job. But why are perfectly self-respecting politicians such as Sen. Liz Figueroa from the Bay Area or Sen. Jim Battin of Riverside County vying for such an inconsequential job? Because term limits happened to them, and once their current terms are up, they need new jobs. This is the real horror of term limits. Rather than bringing in a corps of citizen legislators who go to Sacramento, then go home, it has turned a generation of career politicians into migrant workers, always looking ahead to the next job. Once someone’s exhausted the six years in the state Assembly, they move to the Senate for eight years. Once those eight years are up, they can seek one of the few statewide election positions available, such as governor, treasurer or L.G. If that seems unobtainable, they can try for a job on the local city council or board of supervisors. Going small isn’t as bad as it seems. In fact, it’s possible Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilmen Tony Cardenas and Herb Wesson all currently enjoy more power, more visibility and more perks than they did as state legislators. Voters might have thought terms limits would get rid of the same old cast of characters, but all they got was a traveling show. And because of that, my dream job is now out of reach and likely to fall into the hands of someone not inclined to revel in the obscurity of the job or celebrate its potential for serious slacking. Oh, the travesty. Mariel Garza mariel.garza@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more