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Sport Shorts

first_imgBasketball legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier will be at Fameabilia on Monmouth Street in Red Bank on July 7 from 1-3 p.m. to host an autograph session. Customers will be required to purchase a product from the store which include 8-by-10 and 16-by-20 photos, basketballs, jerseys or book ranging from $20-$250. Frazier will not sign any items brought into the store. Customers are urged to arrive early as long lines are expected. Jim Carr of Lincroft is a member of the 2001 Elizabethtown College baseball team, which completed its season with a 19-19 overall record and its second consecutive Commonwealth Conference championship and NCAA Division III tournament bid. Carr, a freshman designated hitter and first baseman, appeared in 10 games in his first season with the Blue Jays and batted .294 in 17 at-bats, and drove in two runs. The graduate of Mater Dei High School, Middletown, is majoring in engineering at Elizabethtown. The Essential Soccer Camp will be sponsored by the Husky Indoor Soccer Association between Aug. 6 and 10 at Matawan Regional High School. The clinicians are licensed instructors from Scotland. Types of sessions available will be goalkeepers, individual and team training, half- and full-day clinics. The half-day session will run from 9 a.m. to noon, while the full-day session will run to 4 p.m. Tiny Touches sessions (ages 3-5) will run from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, call Art Perri at (732) 566-0154, e-mail huskysport@aol, or Jim Wallace at (302) 622-8975, e-mail essentialsoccer@aol.com. A new Hazlet U11 boys traveling soccer team is being formed for the fall season. Date of birth must be after July 31, 1989, to be eligible. Hazlet residency is not required. As a new team, all positions are open. For more information, call Bill Wentz at (732) 888-1550. The Middletown Babe Ruth 2001 Baseball Tournament starts July 22. Teams interested in entering should do so early at the following costs: $295 (10U), $295 (12U), $325 (13s) and $325 (14s/15s). There will be awards for first and second place. Call Dean Sadecki at (732) 787-0589 for more information The River Plaza-Lincroft Chargers will hold open registrations for Pop Warner football and cheerleading teams on Friday from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Chargers Field Clubhouse at Nutswamp Park. Football registration is open to all children ages 5-14 as of Aug. 1. Cheerleading spots are available for children ages 7-10 as of Aug. 1. Please bring the child’s original birth certificate and a copy, plus a wallet-sized photo. Call (732) 842-0007 for more information. The Red Bank Armory is offering women’s ice hockey leagues for all levels through August. Call the Armory at (732) 450-9001 ext. 16 for more information. The Freehold Tornado 18U fastpitch Class A tournament team has an opening for a position player. For more information, call Lenny Malteseat (732) 577-0549. The Jersey Kickers, a new Battle of Monmouth U14 (fall) girls soccer team, is seeking two premier level players to complete its roster. Girls born after July 31, 1987, are eligible. This is a year-round program, and there is no residency requirement for this highly competitive team. The team’s coach is a former college player with 16 years’ experience coaching youth soccer. For more information call Jeff at (732) 972-3075. Rowan University, Glassboro, the national champion soccer school, will be directing advanced residential and day camps for youth and high school players from July 15-19 and July 31-Aug. 4. A special goalkeeper camp will be held in conjunction with each camp. All players receive a soccer ball, camp T-shirt, and an Olympic-style medal or trophy. Rowan’s head coach, Dan Gilmore, will direct the coaching staff. Professional collegiate and high school coaches will teach advanced fundamentals and strategy. Team and group discounts are available. For more information, call (856) 589-4555. The Hazlet Youth Athletic League will hold its annual girls softball tournament starting July 21. Age groups available are 8 and under, 10 and under, 12 and under, and 14 and under. The girls cutoff date is Jan. 1, and the tournament will run through July 29. Entrance fee will be $275, except for girls 8 and under, whose fee is $225. Teams interested in playing can contact the HYAL at (732) 264-3060, ext. 6. Registration fees are also available at www.hyal.org. No AAU teams will be accepted. Jersey Shore Baseball Academy, in conjunction with Middletown Babe Ruth League, announces its annual summer baseball/softball camps, to be held at McMahon Field in Middletown the weeks of July 9, 16, 23 and 30, and Aug. 6 and 13. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the cost is $100 per player. The staff consists of former professional players, high school coaches and college players and coaches. Call (732) 291-7701 for more information The Hazlet Youth Athletic League will be holding its annual boys baseball tournament through July 18. Entrance fee is $275. Teams interested in playing can contact the HYAL at (732) 264-3060 (hit No. 6). Registration forms are also available at www.hyal.org. No AAU teams, please. SLAM Magazine will be holding its first New Jersey basketball camp at Matawan High School in Aberdeen Aug. 13-17. New Jersey Nets power forward Kenyon Martin will be in attendance to share his secrets of success through lessons and lectures. The cost for the camp is $275; lunch will be provided. For further information, contact the camper hot line at (212) 560-SLAM. The Lancer Football Camp will be held at the St. John Vianney High School athletic fields off Line Road in Holmdel July 16-20 (6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.) for boys entering seventh and eighth grades in the fall. The cost is $130 per camper. For more information, call Coach Nick Metro at (732) 739-0800. The Shootingstar Fastpitch Softball Summer Camp in Monmouth and Ocean counties for girls ages 8-18 will be held July 9-12. Rain date is July 13. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is for players of all positions (including pitching and catching). Hitting, bunting, base running, the basic fundamentals and the finer points of the game will be taught. Game play is included. The cost is $135 (before June 9) or $150 (after June 10). Team rates and second family member discounts are being offered. For more information or a brochure, call Coach Bob DiBernardo at (732) 938-6019, or visit the Web site at www.shootingstarfastpitch.com.last_img read more

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Different Matawan team tackling RFH in CJ II final

first_img BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent State final Saturday night at Rutgers Matawan High School football coach JoeMartucci had said a few weeks ago the Huskies are “a different team” than the squad that suffered an early-season 21-9 loss to Rumson-Fair Haven, as they headed to a rematch for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III championship. But he wasn’t thinking of that in the way it had turned out lately.Five players were suspended before the Nov. 26 stunning 35-8 loss to St. John Vianney in Matawan’s regular-season finale, and those players will not be playing again on Dec. 3 in the 7 p.m. state championship kickoff at Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway.Matawan is 8-3, 2-3 in the Shore Conference A North after the loss to St. John, and is seeking its fifth state title.Martucci, also the school’s director of athletics, said he could not comment on the administrative issued suspensions that reportedly include seniors Juwaan Bellamy at defensive back and lineman Matthew Morenz and juniors Dan Incle at linebacker and Samad Thomas on the line. And he also would not elaborate on players who had sat out the St. John Vianney game so that they could heal for the state championship game.“It will be a different lineup from the last game,” said Martucci, who has juggled the lineup and inserted some new starters against St. John, including Anthony Castaneda and Justus Santana-Simmons on the defensive line and Chris Verary at left guard. Center Dan Liebowitz also played double-duty at linebacker.Fullback Anthony Quaglieri had a mild concussion and wide receiver Sam Johnson had an ankle injury that kept them out of the St. John game, but are expected back in action on Dec. 3.Rumson-Fair Haven won last year’s state championship game, 13-7, and Matawan fans have been eagerly looking forward to the rematch. Matawan won the state title two years ago.Martucci said his team lacked the drive and intensity against St. John as it led only once at 8-7 off Chris Walton’s four-yard touchdown run before St. John recovered four fumbles by Matawan as it ended the Huskies’ six-game win streak. Quarterback Anthony Carlucci threw for 249 yards to lead St. John Vianney (5-5, 2-3).“I know some kids were looking past the game to next week (the state finals), and the kids who were not playing affected the team’s mental preparation. They were not prepared emotionally and mentally,” said Martucci, who also praised St. John’s quarterback and its team that “played very well.”But can Matawan’s players regain their focus?“I think they have to. They have an opportunity to play for a state championship,” Martucci said. “We’ll do the best we can to get the kids prepared and in the right position to win.”To do that, mistakes and fumbles must be at a minimum. The same can be said for penalties, which plagued last year’s team in the state finals.But Martucci said the change in Matawan’s team from an early-season game against Rumson-Fair Haven that dropped it to 1-2 at the time is not wrapped around the suspended players.“We are a team that’s still evolving, because at the time we had just lost [star running back] Cassius Williams [with a knee injury]. Now our players have an idea of who they are and what to do. It’s execution.” But the other concernMartucci had was the game site. The Huskies have played for state titles at three different college venues the last three years — The College of New Jersey, Kean University and now Rutgers.“Obviously, it’s a very good venue,” said Martucci. “I always felt the state finals should be at the home field of the better seed. I don’t know if a big venue works best for the kids. It takes them out of their routines. The kids loosen up in the bubble and then go out on the field. There’s no locker room or opportunity to talk to the kids before the game, and that’s an uncomfortable situation. But we’re very excited to have the opportunity to be going out there for a state championship.LarryAlston again figures to be the central figure on offense, with pocket passer KaShawn Barnes at quarterback, and also is an integral part of the defense. Martucci is glad some players are returning to the lineup.“After all, we’re a Group II school and there are only so many kids you can turn to,” he said.last_img read more

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Djokovic crushes Nikishori to meet del Potro in US Open final

first_imgNovak Djokovic will face Juan Martin del Potro for the U.S. Open title after the Serb beat Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 6-2 in their semi-final on Friday.Djokovic, this year’s Wimbledon champion, kept Nishikori under relentless pressure, carving out 17 break point opportunities and winning 80 percent of his own first serve points to win in two hours and 23 minutes.Twice champion Djokovic, who reached his eighth final at Flushing Meadows and is seeded sixth this year, broke Nishikori in his first service game and closed out the opening set with an ace in 37 minutes without facing a break point.“It felt really good,” Djokovic said courtside. “Easier said than done – you have to execute the shots against Kei Nishikori, who is one of the quicker movers on the tour.”Nishikori improved in the second set, coming to the net more often, but Djokovic was in imperious form. He fended off the only two break points he faced and broke the Japanese again for a 3-2 lead.“I thought in the important moments I came up with some good second serves, some good first serves. I was returning well,” Djokovic added.“I was putting constantly pressure on him, trying to move him around the court, take away the rhythm from him, not give him the same look always. The match was really, really good from my side.”The Serb dominated from the baseline while Nishikori’s cause was undermined by 51 unforced errors.“He was playing very solid everything: serve, return, groundstrokes,” Nishikori said. “Wasn’t easy to stay with him tonight.”Djokovic, who was forced to skip last year’s tournament due to an elbow injury and returned to the tour this year after surgery, said he was thrilled to be back on the big stage.“It means the world to me obviously,” he added. “Like thousands of other tennis players around the world I’m trying to be the best I can be.”Reaching a second consecutive Grand Slam final suggests the 13-times major champion is nearly back to his best, though he will need to be even more clinical against Del Potro, who has only dropped one set in six matches in New York.“He’s a dear friend,” Djokovic said of Del Potro, who won the title in 2009. “He always possessed that big forehand, big serve … one of the biggest forehands ever in the history of this game.”“One of the keys … will be how well can I return, how many returns I can get back in play, but also try to have some depth in that return, and how accurately I can serve myself.”Nishikori began the third set with a confident hold of serve but the 28-year-old made four unforced errors in his next service game to set Djokovic on the road to victory.The Japanese player’s spirit was finally broken and his serve followed, with Djokovic claiming his fourth break with a fist-pumping celebration before serving for the match.The 31-year-old, who was beaten by Nishikori at Flushing Meadows in 2014, sealed victory on his second match point to improve his head-to-head record against the Japanese to 15 wins from 17 meetings.Del Potro comforts Nadal as the Spaniard retires from their game injuredMartin del Potro v Rafa Nadal(R) 7-6 6-2 A weary and wounded world number one Rafael Nadal retired from his U.S. Open semi-final while trailing Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(3) 6-2 on Friday, sending the Argentine back to the Flushing Meadows final for the first time since his 2009 triumph.Nadal, who had never before retired from a U.S. Open match, showed signs of distress almost from the start as he limped noticeably after a gruelling 69-minute opening set.Grimacing with every sudden move, the 17-time Grand Slam winner called for the trainer during the changeover on serve at 2-1 in the second.The defending champion had his knee massaged and re-taped and bravely continued through the second set before telling the umpire he was unable to continue.“I think it was two-all in the first, 15-love, something like this in the first set, that I felt (something),” said Nadal. “I said to my box immediately that I felt something on the knee.“After that, I was just trying to see if in some moment the thing can improve during the match.“But no, was not the day.“I waited as much as I can. You could imagine very difficult for me to say goodbye before the match finish but at some point you have to take a decision.”Nadal’s stamina and famous fitness have been put to the test on the sweltering Flushing Meadows hardcourts as he has logged nearly 16 hours through five matches.The Spaniard was made to work for his place in the last four, needing a fifth set tiebreak to see off Dominic Thiem in the quarters.It was the second time this year that the world number one has retired from a slam as he also quit during his quarter-final against Marin Cilic at the Australian Open in January.“This year have been a fantastic year until this moment,” said Nadal. “I lost four matches. Two of them I had to retire.“Negative thing is two of them have been in quarter-finals and semi-finals of a Grand Slam, close to fight for titles.“That’s frustrating. Is tough for me.”“I feel that I fight all my career against these kind of things.”One of the greatest players of all time, the one chink in the Spaniard’s armour has always been his knees with injuries plaguing him throughout his career.Nadal’s all out, take-no-prisoners attacking style has seen his body absorb more punishment on the court than perhaps any other player, leaving many to wonder just how long the 32-year-old can continue to pound away.“All my career everybody say that because of my style, I will have a short career,” said Nadal. “I am still here.”Del Potro, who has also had his career disrupted by injuries, was not happy to get the victory the way he did but the big-hitting Argentine will now get a chance to raise a Grand Slam trophy nine years after his first.The third seed will now await the winner of the second semi-final between Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.“It’s not the best way to win a match,” said Del Potro, who also beat Nadal at the same stage of the 2009 U.S. Open to reach what had been his one and only Grand Slam final.“I love to play against Rafa because he’s the biggest fighter in this sport.“I’m sad for him.”last_img read more

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200 farmers ordered off farmlands, seek Govt’s intervention

first_imgSome 200 cash crop farmers are seeking Government’s intervention after they were ordered off a plot of State land they have been occupying since 1989 for agricultural purposes.In a letter dispatched to Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, the farmers pleaded to keep the land since it is their only means of earning a livelihood and justified why it is in the country’s benefit for arrangements to be made for them to continue their cultivation.Guyana Times understands that the cash crop farmers of Hopetown and Bath Settlement, in Berbice, have expended huge sums of money in cleaning, clearing and draining the 30 acres of land for over 27 years.Some of the farmers are even living on the land.They plant a wide variety of cash crops, including bananas, bora, lettuce, celery, eschallot, peppers, ochroes, among others while some are into aquaculture.According to the correspondence, the farmers said the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) Ovid Morrisson placed notices in front their farms, warning them that all trespassers will be removed.The farmers say the REO wants to use the land to embark on a mix-farm project. They explained in the letter that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) had a 50-year lease on some 50 acres of land but never occupied it and so the MMA/ADA repossessed the land.“The MMA/ADA were informed about our farming project and on several occasion assisted us with excavators to de-silt internal drainage and irrigation channels, they also on two occasions did occupational surveys and also gave some members letters of occupation to source help from funding agencies to enhance our farming activities, etc,” a section of the correspondence reads.The farmers said they were also assisted by the Canadian Ambassador (CIDA Programme) and the Social Impact & Amelioration Programme (SIMAP)-IDB Funding.last_img read more

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Drowned WBD man found on foreshore

first_imgThe body of a West Bank Demerara (WBD) man was on Tuesday morning discovered at the Orangestein, West Coast Demerara foreshore after he reportedly drowned on Sunday.Dead is 21-year-old Richard Ramkissoon of Sisters Village, WBD. According to reports reaching Guyana Times, the young man’s body was found about 07:30h between boulders at the Orangestein foreshore.Dead: Richard RamkissoonIt was reported that the man had gone to the koker in Parika, East Bank Essequibo with his girlfriend on Sunday to swim in the Essequibo River and it was during the outing, he drowned.This newspaper understands that Ramkissoon was carrying his girlfriend on his shoulders and as they ventured farther out into the River, the young man suddenly disappeared under the water, while his girlfriend, who could not swim, started to shout for help as she fought to stay above the water.The young woman was subsequently rescued by public-spirited citizens nearby, but Ramkissoon could not be saved. Speaking with Guyana Times on Tuesday, the young man’s father, Gulkarran Ramkissoon, explained that he last spoke to his son on Saturday as he was leaving work to meet his girlfriend in Parika.The man noted that his son did not return home that day and on Sunday morning, the two spoke during which time the young man said he was going to return home later in the day.The distraught father explained that that afternoon, about 15:15h, he called to inform his son that his boss wanted him to be at work early the next day, but a young woman answered the phone and related the tragic news.“When meh ask she where meh son deh, she didn’t answer right away and she cry lil. So me ask she ‘what happened to meh son, somebody beat he or he get lock up?’, she still nah answer. Then she say he drowned and them nah find he. So me ask if he dead and she say yes,” the man told this newspaper.The grieving father went on to say that after receiving the news, he began to panic and so he called his relatives to verify if his son had indeed drowned. At Parika, the relatives discovered that the incident occurred since 12:00h on Sunday.Holding back his tears, the man continued to relate what he was told of how his son drowned. The young woman told the Police that after she was rescued, she informed persons that her boyfriend was also there, but the search for the young man was futile.The elder Ramkissoon related to this publication the condition of his son’s body after it was found. He said his son had lost a full head of hair and his face was swollen. The man added that the upper part of his son’s leg was swollen. A post-mortem examination of the body of the 21-year-old has been scheduled for today. Ramkissoon leaves to mourn his parents and four younger siblings.last_img read more

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Local hero

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TRADITIONALLY, we name public schools after public heroes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and Cesar Chavez. This week, there is a new one: Daniel Pearl. Birmingham High School has renamed its magnet program after the alumnus of the Lake Balboa school who was killed by terrorists while on assignment for The Wall Street Journal in Pakistan in 2002. The Daniel Pearl Journalism and Communications Magnet is a fitting legacy for a local hero whose courage and commitment to the truth can inspire the next generations of truth seekers and storytellers who pass through the same halls.last_img read more

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Engineers weigh fixing Atlantis in space

first_imgEngineers who had studied past damage to the blanket area, located on a pod of engines near the shuttle’s tail, on other shuttle missions were uncomfortable with the safety margins of a piece of the blanket sticking out during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere when temperatures on the shuttle’s heat shield can reach as high as 2,900 degree Fahrenheit during re-entry. Temperatures at the blanket’s location only reach 700 degrees to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. “The concern is that if it sticks up, you get additional heating,” said John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team. Engineers were confident the loosened blanket was caused by aerodynamic forces during launch, not by being hit by a piece of debris during lift off. “Since this wasn’t an impact blow, we have high confidence that the structure beneath it is pristine,” Shannon said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HOUSTON – The crews of Atlantis and the international space station greeted each other with hugs and handshakes Sunday after the space shuttle arrived at the orbiting outpost. But amid the smiles and salutations, engineers in Houston started evaluating whether a peeled-back thermal blanket should be fixed by astronauts. A decision likely will be made in the next day or two, and if the answer is to fix it, another decision will be made on whether it would be done during one of three scheduled spacewalks or during an extra, unplanned one. Astronauts planned to make the mission’s first spacewalk on Monday to help attach a new 35,000-pound segment to the space station. last_img read more

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Elks donate dictionaries to third-graders

first_imgDUARTE – Reading, writing and arithmetic are still the basis of education, and the Duarte Elks Lodge gave some Beardslee Elementary School students something that will help with the first two. For the past few years the Elks have sponsored a national program that provides free dictionaries to third-grade students. Those students are at a critical stage in the process of learning to read and write. On Friday, hundreds of students attended an outdoor assembly at Beardslee and watched as Elks members Larry Van Den Bossche, Brian Lister, Lou Orovecz and club secretary Sally Emerson handed out copies of “The Best Dictionary for Students,” which is printed exclusively for the Elks, to 60 students. Over the past year the Duarte Elks, which has 155 members, has given away 800 dictionaries to Duarte and Monrovia third-graders. In response, they’ve received dozens of handmade thank-you cards from students and appreciation notes from teachers. Before passing the dictionaries out, Bossche, 82, told the students: “In the third grade you see words you don’t know and that’s where the dictionary comes in. Computers will never surpass dictionaries and I still have my third-grade dictionary.” He told the students the Elks are also one of the top service clubs in the nation when it comes to awarding college scholarships. “You should look up the Elks when you get ready to go to college,” he said. emanuel.parker@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mrs. Mata at Plymouth Elementary School in Monrovia wrote: “They (the dictionaries) are greatly needed with all the budget cuts and all. Many of these students, unfortunately, cannot afford them on their own.” “They’ve just started learning how to use a dictionary, learning the parts of a dictionary,” said Beardslee third-grade teacher Jennifer Brown, whose class of 20 students each received a dictionary. “They’ll take them on with them all the way through high school.” Haylee Arlidge, 8, said she already knows how to use a dictionary. “If you don’t know a word, you go on the dictionary and look up the word and it gives you the meaning of the word,” she said. “We truly appreciate it,” said Scott Moses, an outreach consultant and acting principal. “Every year the Elks have been here, and it’s been wonderful. It helps the kids out and they get to carry them home and that’s wonderful.” last_img read more

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Alexis Sanchez in line to feature in Community Shield after return to training

first_img Alexis Sanchez could feature in the Community Shield 1 Alexis Sanchez could be in contention to appear in Arsenal’s Community Shield clash against Chelsea on Sunday after returning to training.The forward’s participation in the club’s pre-season preparations had been delayed, first by him representing Chile at the Confederations Cup and more recently by illness.His future also remains the subject of uncertainty amid consistent reports linking him with a transfer to Paris St Germain, Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Chelsea.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had previously said Sanchez would return to training last Sunday, but after apparently recovering from illness, the 28-year-old posted an image of his progress.Next to a photo on social media of him running, he wrote: “Back to training.”His potential availability would be a significant boost to Wenger, who remains adamant Sanchez will not leave the club this summer, despite entering the final year of his contract.It would also represent the first opportunity to test him alongside club-record £46.5million signing Alexandre Lacazette.last_img read more

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Church to defy IRS summons

first_img• Video: All Saints Church PASADENA – All Saints Church leaders defiantly vowed Thursday to take the IRS to court, challenging the tax agency’s right to demand records relating to a politically themed guest sermon delivered just before the 2004 presidential election. All Saints Rector Ed Bacon said that two Internal Revenue Service summonses for church records served last week undermined the free-speech rights of all faiths to preach on “issues of war, poverty, bigotry, torture and terrorism” without endangering their tax-exempt status. Bacon said he will not appear to testify on Oct. 11, as the IRS had demanded. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleThe church’s 26-member vestry – its board of governors – voted unanimously Thursday to refuse to comply with the summonses, Senior Warden Robert Long said. Although the liberal Episcopalian congregation of about 3,500 – for decades touted as the largest, and perhaps the wealthiest, in the West – has a “long history” of speaking out on issues of the day, it has never crossed the line into politicking, Long said. “We have nothing to hide,” he said. “We have reviewed the documents \ and we believe they fully support our position that we have always been mindful and respectful of the regulations, and have always been in compliance with them.” An IRS statement Thursday did not comment directly on the All Saints investigation, saying only that there are constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religion, but not to tax-exempt status for nonprofits that get political. Only rarely has the IRS actually revoked the tax-exempt status of charities or churches. Long said that taking the IRS to court rather than agreeing to turn over documents will be expensive, utilizing funds that would be better used for church programs. But the IRS challenge “can be addressed only by standing up now and protecting ourselves from the chilling effect on free speech and the free exercise of religion,” Long said. He said the move will also be “a stand for the churches, synagogues and mosques across our country who may find themselves in similar circumstances, but less able or well-funded to make such a challenge,” Long said, In a show of interfaith solidarity with the church’s decision, about 40 representatives of Southland religious communities crowded All Saints’ altar. Shakeel Sayed, president of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, spoke of his group’s “total and complete solidarity” with All Saints’ decision; Rabbi Neil Commess-Daniels of Beth Shir Shalom handed over a donation for the church’s legal fund, and asked others to contribute. Ed McCaffery, dean of USC School of Law and an expert on taxation, said he was surprised the IRS has continued to press the investigation. “My own view is that the IRS is wrong. They have an incorrect interpretation of the statute” governing church involvement in politics, McCaffery said. But, he said, that doesn’t mean the IRS will not prevail in asserting its right to review church documents. “My guess would be that the IRS would win” in court. But, he said, it was less certain the IRS would win a battle over the the church’s First Amendment rights. Bacon said he has no idea why the sermon preached by All Saints Rector Emeritus George Regas triggered the IRS investigation. In it, Regas speculated on how Jesus would weigh in on a debate between presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas, while harshly critical of some Bush policies, told parishioners they’d be spiritually justified in voting for either candidate. The church has filed a Freedom of Information request to see where the complaint originated, Bacon said. McCaffrey said he saw “nothing wrong with the letter or spirit” of the sermon. “Should a church be liable for the words of a guest sermon? Should the IRS be looking at words? I don’t think so,” McCaffrey said. “Why they don’t find a reasonable way to end this saga is a puzzling question.” McCaffrey said if the IRS investigated pastors’ words to check for political positions, it would cover sermons on such issues as abortion, the death penalty and teaching evolution in schools. “These are the things pastors talk about all the time,” he said. In purely practical terms, he said, the IRS hasn’t even enough personnel to fulfill its mandate to collect taxes. “Is this the appropriate agency to be looking at what’s being said Saturdays and Sundays in religious places?” he said. “That’s just nutty.” janette.williams@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4482160Want 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

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