In Blow to Powder River Basin Ambitions, Bankrupt Arch Coal Abandons Otter Creek Project

first_imgIn Blow to Powder River Basin Ambitions, Bankrupt Arch Coal Abandons Otter Creek Project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Matthew Brown for the Associated Press:Arch Coal suspended its application for a major mine in southeastern Montana on Thursday, two months after the mining giant filed for bankruptcy protection and amid broader struggles for the coal industry that have reversed its once-bright prospects in the state.The St. Louis-based company cited a weak coal market, a shortage of capital and an uncertain permitting outlook in announcing it was suspending the proposed Otter Creek mine.The move marks a major blow to longstanding efforts to expand mining in the Powder River Basin along the Montana-Wyoming border, the nation’s largest coal-producing region. Arch had invested at least $159 million to acquire coal leases in the area.“Arch can no longer devote the time, capital and resources required to develop a coal mine on the Otter Creek reserve,” the company said in a press release.The Otter Creek mine would have extracted up to 20 million tons of coal annually from state-owned and private leases south of Ashland near the Wyoming border. Fuel from the mine was to be sold domestically and in overseas markets.Plans to build a $400 million railroad to the mine site were put on hold indefinitely last year.The loss of the two projects sinks near-term hopes for a coal-fueled economic boom in southeastern Montana, a largely agriculture region that’s failed to attract mining on the scale of the massive strip mines just to the south in Wyoming.The Otter Creek leases hold an estimated 1.5 billion tons of coal.What will happen to those leases is uncertain. Arch spokeswoman Logan Bonacorsi did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press. The company boasts the second largest coal reserves in the U.S. but was driven into bankruptcy after amassing billions of dollars in debt.Otter Creek’s critics said the company’s permitting delays offered a convenient excuse for a project that no longer made economic sense. Demand for coal has plummeted in the past several years amid competition from cheap natural gas and increased reliance on renewable energies to generate electricity.“It’s the market. Period,” said Anne Hedges with the Montana Environmental Information Center.Arch Coal suspends plans for Otter Creek mine in Montanalast_img read more

Read More →

In 40th year, Bartner still hits right notes

first_imgOn the wall of Trojan Marching Band Director Arthur Bartner’s office hangs a photograph of an 800-piece band packed on the grass of the Coliseum in the shape of the United States.As 2.5 billion people from across the world watched, the band — including 150 members from USC — played for the Opening Ceremony in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, under Bartner’s guiding hands. Twenty-five years later, Bartner is still leading the self-titled “Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe,” marking his 40th year at the helm this year.His forte · Art Bartner, director of the Trojan Marching Band, has been with the Spirit of Troy for 40 years and has led the band through 16 Rose Bowls and two platinum albums. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily Trojan“He is the Spirit of Troy, believe me,” said Brad Calhoun, former Voice of Troy — the pre-game and half-time announcer at Trojan football games. “The band had humble beginnings, and he transformed it into one of the best.”Bartner, who hails from New Jersey, came to USC in 1970 after playing the trumpet in the University of Michigan marching band for four years and working as a high school band director.Back then, the band was having a hard time getting gigs with well-known musicians and did not have enough money for its budget.“Art was 30 years old when he started,” Calhoun said. “[But] Art had a vision, and the longevity and consistency of service allowed him to implement his vision to the benefit of the university and its alums.”At first, Bartner tried to model the marching band after his alma mater’s, but he said the highly disciplined style at Michigan did not work at USC.“USC students wanted their own style, so I developed a new style with help from the students and [former USC football player and assistant coach] Marv Goux,” he said.Bartner had met Goux, whom he calls a Trojan icon, shortly after he started working at USC, and ended up leaning on him for advice.“Goux took me under his wing and showed me how to be a Trojan,” Bartner said.Bartner said Goux, who died in 2002, encouraged him to go to football practices and watch the defensive linemen practice. Watching Goux work, Bartner said, made it easy for him to see the Trojan values of spirit, enthusiasm, competitiveness and intensity in action.“I try and bring those qualities to the band,” said Bartner.Thirty-one years later, when newly hired football coach Pete Carroll went to Goux to learn about Trojan tradition, Goux told Carroll to seek out Bartner.“Dr. Bartner basically taught Pete Carroll how to be a Trojan,” said Brett Padelford, the band’s public relations director and a former Spirit of Troy trumpet player. “They’ll do anything for eachother.”The connection between the band and the football team is something that both band members and alumni say is unique to USC.“The band and football team took off together when Pete came,” said Kenny Morris, a senior majoring in sociology and the band’s drum major. “Dr. Bartner looks to Pete Carroll a lot for inspiration.”Likewise, Carroll says he too considers Bartner a source of motivation.“I have so much respect for the work he does … The passion he’s always stood for has withstood all the years he’s been here,” Carroll said. “He’s demonstrated to the football team that there’s no reason you have to fluctuate your performances. Their performances have always been absolutely consistent.”The band has not missed afootball home or away game since 1987, and the entire group travels to both the USC-Notre Dame game and the Weekender, when USC plays either at Stanford or University of California, Berkeley.“We are very much a football band,” Bartner said. “Everything we do is geared to that team. The team is never far from our mind.”In addition to performing every week, Bartner’s career at the school spans 16 Rose Bowl performances, three Super Bowl performances, three Academy Awards appearances and two platinum albums. His tenure has also started several traditions, including the Lone Ranger theme that is played at the end of the third quarter, and the ritual of kicking the flagpole for good luck on the way to the Coliseum.And after 40 years, Bartner still has one of the most famous voices on campus. He can be heard during practice shouting directions, such as “Look at your accents!” in his signature gravelly timbre.“He’s literally the fire behind this band,” Morris said. “I don’t know how he does it.”Morris said Bartner’s tireless energy and enthusiasm is what propels the band to improve at every practice.“He is 69 years old and in better shape than 90 percent of the band, myself included,” Morris said. “He’ll have these paternal moments, like ‘He’s so wise, he’s such a great mentor,’ then he’ll yell at you to take a lap. You never know what to expect.”Band practice with Bartner is an intense experience with constant repetition of the Tribute to Troy, as well as new music and marching drills for every home game. Errant playerscommonly run the occasional lap and drop to the turf to do push-ups.The band members are so dedicated to the band that sometimes, Bartner said, they even do push-ups for their mistakes without being asked.“The deepest truth about Art Bartner is that his greatest joy is being a catalyst to draw out of others their gifts and talents,” Calhoun said.Morris said the band’s two mottos, “Never tired” and “It’s easy to be a good band, and difficult to be a great band,” reflect this intensity.“We yell harder, we play better, we march better,” Morris said. “Bartner tells us this will be the greatest year we will have.”Although Bartner and the band take their performances seriously, members say his quirky conducting style makes practice interesting.“My favorite is when he’ll yell at someone, ‘You in the red shirt!’ on Fridays, but everyone’s wearing red because that’s our red shirt day,” said Erica Dolcini, one of the members of the silks, USC’s color guard, and a junior majoring in public policy, management and planning. “As much as we make fun of him because he can’t hear us on the field, he still commands respect and has an aura of authority.”Ryan Suter, the leader of the tuba section and a senior majoring in critical studies, said Bartner’s dedication makes him a legend on campus.“He lives and breathes the USC Trojan Marching Band,” Suter said. “You hear him four days a week, whether or not you’re in the band.”Although some band members, including Morris, believe that Bartner will retire when Carroll does, Bartner insists his comments are not meant to be taken seriously.“I jokingly say I will not retire until Pete Carroll retires because I think the world of him. He makes Trojan football fun, exciting and vibrant,” Bartner said.Despite Rose Bowl shows, TV and movie performances, platinum albums and a career spanning four decades, Bartner is still happiest conducting the Spirit of Troy after a Trojan win.“The greatest, still mostexhilarating moment to me is after a hard-fought victory,” he said. “When the team comes over to the band and you get that Conquest, that’s still for me the most exciting moment.”last_img read more

Read More →

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start Opening Day

first_imgKershaw will make his Cactus League debut Thursday against the Chicago White Sox. He threw a normal bullpen session Monday.Also appearingThe Dodgers announced their scheduled list of pitchers for their first two Cactus League games Wednesday and Thursday against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.Erik Bedard, Carlos Frias, Juan Nicasio, Sergio Santos, Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin will pitch Wednesday. Kershaw, Joe Wieland, Brandon League, Chris Hatcher, Daniel Coulombe and Ryan Buchter throw Thursday. Both starters are expected to throw two innings.The Dodgers have split-squad games Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners. Mattingly said Zach Lee and non-roster invitee David Huff will start those games. Julio Urias will pitch out of the bullpen in the home game against the Mariners.On the mendDodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who had been battling tightness in his back, threw a regular bullpen session. So did right-hander Joel Peralta, who had pain in his shoulder. Both pitchers emerged unscathed. “Overall my back, arm feels great. I threw all my pitches today. I feel good,” Ryu said through his interpreter. Ryu threw 32 pitches and figured he’ll need another bullpen session or live batting practice before he pitches in a Cactus League game. Peralta threw 22 pitches, all fastballs and “a couple splits.” “I think we’ve got to build strength,” Peralta said. “I need a couple more bullpens before I can pitch in the games.” Non-roster invitee Ben Rowen, who is recovering from off-season thoracic outlet surgery, threw his third bullpen session of the spring and is still a ways away from appearing in a game.NotableBench coach Tim Wallach will manage the Dodgers’ exhibition games in San Antonio against the Texas Rangers on March 20-21. … The Angels announced that flagship radio station KLAA (830-AM) will air all 162 regular-season games in 2015, 70 of which will also air on 710-AM. … The Angels have not announced who will start, or relieve, in their first Cactus League game Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error GLENDALE, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw is not just the best starting pitcher on the Dodgers’ staff, or even the most valuable player of the team. He is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player, with the hardware at home to prove it.So it came as no surprise Monday when manager Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw will start Opening Day on April 6 against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.“That’s our plan,” Mattingly said.Kershaw started the second game of the 2010 season against the Pittsburgh Pirates (and got knocked around a bit, walking six batters in 4 2/3 innings.) He has started Opening Day of every season since.center_img “Did it count last year, in Australia?” Kershaw asked a group of reporters Monday. “The streak is still intact.”Only Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela and Ramon Martinez have started as many as five Opening Days for the Dodgers. Kershaw has a 0.35 earned-run average in his four Opening Day starts, with three wins and a no-decision. The no-decision came two years ago when he fell ill and had to leave a game in San Diego early.The honor is largely ceremonial and not always predictable. Orel Hershiser won the 1988 Cy Young Award and was healthy when the 1989 season began, but Tommy Lasorda gave Tim Belcher the ball on Opening Day.On a practical level, the Dodgers would certainly like Kershaw to pitch as often as possible — every day, if biomechanics allowed it. So it makes sense to give him the ball first.The Padres haven’t announced their Opening Day starter. last_img read more

Read More →