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The 26th running of the Great Race is upon us this Saturday at Woods Park (official race form below)

first_imgThere will be nine teams racing in the Great Race Saturday. Last year’s race had 10. by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The 26th running of the Great Race in Wellington will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine at Woods Park.  There are nine teams entered this year. They have had as many as 12 and as few as seven, but organizer Jack Potucek said this is a good number. See the official 2016 race form here.Woods Park is the best place to see the race. Since it goes over a few miles and involves several types of races, it would not be possible to see it all. From Woods Park a person can see five or six events out of the total of 13. Sprinters and cross country runners touch on Woods Park, and then there is the canoe exchange, and the finish is there at Woods Park.The Dore Enchies and the Spinalators have dominated the race in recent years with one of those two teams winning nine of the last 10 years. Last year it was the Spinalators, headed up by John Anders. The Enchies won it the previous year. Spinalators won in 2013 and The Dore Enchies, formerly the Commodore Enchies, won three straight from 2010-2012.There are 13 events and eight involve running different distances, with a different person running each race. There is also a motocross, racing bike, horses and two stages of a canoe race. Halfway through the canoe race they have to change crews.Often a glitch in the exchange on one of the events, or something going wrong in one event cam make the difference.Last year the Dore Enchies were leading when the motorcycle broke down and had to be pushed to the end. They still managed to finish third. In 2013 there was a problem with the horse. The canoe crew exchange is also tricky, and has caused problems for teams in the past.Anders said his Spinalators crew members have practiced some on the canoe exchange.Spinalators won in 2015. The Enchies hope to get back the crown this year.“The canoe sections are probably some of hte most critical stages as far as doing things correctly,” Anders said.Anders said most of the same crew that won last year will return this year, except for a couple of runners.He is confident, but also realistic.“I think that most years we have a chance to win, but everything has to go just right for that to happen. There are usually several teams that have the right combination of racers to win. A little luck can go a long way in a race like this,” he said.Kip Etter said the Enchies are also pretty much the same team as last year. He believes runners may be the key this year, but a breakdown or a piece of bad luck on the way could also make or break a team.He added that the event is a great thing for Wellington.The Big Bucks team from Security State Bank has been close in recent years, and they have a little confidence that this could be their year. They were second last year and third in 2012 and 2013. They were also second in 2009.Team captain Danielle Bustraan said this year’s edition has several new runners, and most of them are from Wichita State.Bustraan has been organizing the Bank’s team for 13 years, and last year was the closest it has come to winning.“We are feeling confident. We have really great runners,” she said. “It has been awhile since we have been that close, we are hoping.”She said the hardest thing is to find horse and motorcycle riders for the event, but many of the same teams manage to find enough people each year.The race was started by Potucek in 1977 and was held for several years on the Fourth of July. In the 80s, organizers stopped holding the race. The Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce talked them into restarting it in 2001, and it has been held at the current location since then.Last year, the Spinalators completed all 13 events in 44 minutes and 30 seconds, just less than two minutes ahead of SSB Bank.The Enchies hold the course record of 42 minutes and three seconds, which they set in 2012.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comment (1) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Jason blubaugh · 210 weeks ago We sure miss and love that race. I remember the last year janelle and I participated we had 3 or 4 of our horses it in lol. Good luck all. Report Reply 0 replies · active 210 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

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Not Self, But Country

first_imgC.J. Stratton, a retired command master chief and veteran, hoped that this country will take care of its ill and deceased service members and their families. Photo by Tina ColellaWHILE THE NATION observes Armed Forces Day this Saturday, and Memorial Day next weekend, the heroes who should be receiving accolades and memorial services on both observances must also include the Clyde Jay Strattons of the world who join the military, do their job efficiently, quietly and thoroughly, and never ask for a moment’s praise or thanks for their sacrifices.Stratton, an octogenarian and great grandfather, can tick off dozens of names of what he knows are “real heroes,” the guys who were on battlefields from Korea through Vietnam through Desert Storm and more, the young kids who didn’t come home, the men and women who came home but were broken in mind or body as well as all the military men and women in the nation’s forces during one or both of the world wars.But Stratton – make that retired Command Master Chief C.J. Stratton –whether he likes it or not, is also a hero, the kind of guy who stays till the job is done, does it right, takes care of his sailors, and in the end, simply hopes and prays for an America where we truly take care of our ill, sick, wounded and deceased military and their families.This genial, humble and hardworking man chalked up his life history in an unusual way, but along its route, carved out several different occupations and created several important niches that even today are helping to keep the military the proud and distinguished units that they are.An Ohio native, Stratton was always a flying enthusiast, reveling in the Civil Air Patrol’s work before he was a teenager, signing up himself for the volunteer position as soon as he was 15 and eligible.At the start of the Korean War, he enlisted in the Navy, despite all his friends’ warning him he’d be shipped out soon. By the grace of God and the luck of the draw, he never did see service in Korea, though many of his friends who were later drafted did. Stratton had signed up as an air crewman “not because I was a hero, but because it paid $50 a month more that I would have gotten as a medical equipment repairman,” he said.Though the Navy’s PV2 planes, twin-tailed planes were determined to be too old for battle and hence didn’t go into Korea, he was still part of America’s fighting force that prepared and were ready to go wherever needed on a minute’s notice. Instead, he went to South America; what he recalls is that his brother served eight years in the Navy, five of them in the South Pacific during World War II. “That’s a real hero,” he exclaims, always eager to deflect attention from himself.You don’t have to ask Stratton to name more heroes, he’s got them all on the tip of his tongue: “Here’s another one for you, my good friend, Dick O’Shaughnessy, who died recently. He was an enlisted man and he earned the Distinguished Service Cross … think of that, an enlisted man with that high honor! That’s a hero. And my grandson, a young fella, who picked up something in Kenya and is now medically discharged from the Navy … these are heroes, not me.”When the active duty forces were reduced at the end of the Korean conflict, Stratton opted to stay in the Reserves while still searching for a job to support his new status as husband. He had no desire to go back into the family contracting business in Ohio, so when he heard there was an advertisement for an instructor at the Army’s Signal School at Fort Monmouth, he thought it was the best use he could make of his Navy-training as an electronics technician. At that time all he knew about New Jersey was what he had heard of fouls smells, pig farms and oil refineries. He remembered flying over Lakehurst Naval Station and thinking it was all swampland so he wasn’t holding out any hope for an attractive new home. He still chuckles heartily when he recalls getting off the train at the Little Silver railroad station and thinking it was so beautiful and wonderful he must be in Connecticut instead. And walking from the station to Fort Monmouth, he realized that once again, good for tune was following him. That was in June, 1952 and Stratton began his new position, while still remaining in the Reserves and doing his weekend training at NWS Station Earle in Colts Neck.For the next 35years, Stratton continued as an instructor at the signal school. But that isn’t all he did. Recalling his days and all he had learned in the Civil Air Patrol, he wondered why the Navy didn’t have a similar program. Lakehurst had a Sea Cadet program, the first in the country, so Stratton decided to start the second in the country at Earle. Assisted by another friend and Navy hero, the late Capt. Joseph Azzolina, he started the program which is still active at Earle, teaching teen boys and girls the mission and discipline of the US Navy while at the same time giving them experiences they may not other wise have in travel and education. Three of Stratton’s own children signed up for the Sea Cadet program at Earle over the next few years.At Fort Monmouth, Stratton was the executive officer of the MSE program and received a summary of his status report one day. When he contacted personnel to ask what it was about, and was told it meant he was eligible to retire at any time with a comfortable pension, he laughingly told them to make it official that afternoon. He did retire in 1987 – but the army called him back to serve as a consultant for its reorganization at the Signal Corps School for another six years. And still he remained an active reservist. It wasn’t until 1992 – five years after his official retirement as a civilian – when Command Master Chief Clyde Stratton retired from the US Navy, after a career that spanned 42 years.
 But those years when he was both a reservist and working for the Department of Defense were good years, this veteran recalls. When the Navy needed him for temporary duty –for instance, to step up to be the Command Master Chief at Newport when the CMC there was ill – it was comparatively easy to take leave from his government job to complete his military mission. His Navy experience, education and connections were also helpful when he was called on to help create the MSE, Mobil Subscriber Equipment communication system of linked switching nodes that provide the force with an area common-user system (ACUS). It is one of the major communications systems of an Army force at echelons corps and below (ECB). The system is digital and flexible, providing voice and data communications on an automatic, discrete-addressed, fixed-directory basis, supporting mobile and wire subscribers with a means to exchange command, control communications, computers, and intelligence, making it the system that developed what is today’s cell phone for use in the military.Looking back, it’s been an active, happy, busy–but in his terms, no way a heroic – life for this very proud Command Master Chief. One in which he has been proud and humbled to work for the country and be in the company of men and women who have given their lives to protect it.But for Americans who look to our military for safety, security, and protection, CMC Stratton can certainly be ranked up there with the best of them.last_img read more

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HEAVILY FAVORED VALE DORI TAKES GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MARIA STAKES BY 1 ¾ LENGTHS AS SHE WINS FOR THE FOURTH TIME IN A ROW; SMITH & BAFFERT POSE FOR PICTURES FOLLOWING 1 1/16 MILES IN 1:43.19 OVER WET FAST TRACK

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2017)–Chalk players had an anxious moment prior to the start of Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes, as 1-5 favorite Vale Dori reared, ejecting jockey Mike Smith out the back of the starting gate in the process, but their fears were soon allayed, as the brilliant Argentine-bred mare made short work of five rivals, winning by 1 ¾ lengths while negotiating 1 1/16 miles over a wet fast Santa Anita main track in 1:43.19.Breaking from the far outside, the Bob Baffert-conditioned Vale Dori was away alertly and sat a close second to pacesetter Midnight Toast to the far turn where she took command with three furlongs to go and with a staggering $558,490 bet to show on her (out of a total show pool of $608,355), the Santa Maria was hers.“She got a little excited in the gate today,” said Smith.  “I’m not really sure what happened in the gate, something spooked her.  She just reacted to it and almost went all the way over…She was aggravated for a good eighth of a mile before I talked her out of it.  After that, she was well within herself.“She’s gotten good.  There’s not a Songbird or Stellar Wind in there, so that certainly helps.  But she’s climbing the ladder.  As some point she’s going to deserve a chance at them.  If anyone had hooked up with her today, she would have sat off of them no doubt, just no speed today.In registering her fourth consecutive win (her last three Grade II stakes), Vale Dori, a 5-year-old, paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10.Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Vale Dori improved her overall record to 12-7-3-1.  With the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $694,943.“She was a little fresh today,” said Baffert.  “I missed some time with her during the rains, so she was coming in here a little bit fresh today.  I missed a lot of days (training) when it was raining, so we just took it easy with her.  These races (most recently the Grade II La Canada on Jan. 14) have been keeping her fit so I don’t have to do too much in between…We’re definitely looking at the Santa Margarita (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles on March 18).”Show Stealer, who was taken back to last early by Tyler Baze, ran a big race from off the pace and finished second, 3 ¾ lengths clear of Autumn Flower.  Off at 6-1, Show Stealer, who is trained by Art Sherman, paid $3.40 and $2.40.Ridden by Flavien Prat, Autumn Flower was off at 31-1 and paid $4.00 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.66, 47.35, 1:11.68 and 1:36.73.last_img read more

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Legendary Singer Zack Roberts Chides Young Artists

first_imgZack RobertsLegendary singer and songwriter Zack Roberts has described musicians whose music lyric promote the use of drugs and abuse of women as “untalented and disrespectful.”Zack Roberts, who is noted for hit songs like “Keep on Trying and Sweet Liberia” with his former bandmate Geebah, said it is disheartened that the young generation of musicians are not treading on their path that led to a growing and vibrant music industry, which was destroyed by the country’s 14-year civil war.“The Keep on Trying” singer added that because of their rude and inappropriate music lyric, they continue to remain where they are and will find it difficult to attract investors to Liberia’s struggling music industry.“When we were making music, it was about positive message whether the song was love or societal issue. But nowadays, that’s the contrary, with almost every music coming from these young artists offensive,” Zack Roberts said. “If they are not abusing women, they are talking about drug use—a situation which makes their music repugnant and is causing more harm to the society than good.”Zack added that music has power and influences people to make certain discussion; therefore, music that promotes drug use and abuse women are harmful to the society and should not be allowed on radio stations.“You consider yourself a positive road model, yet you influence the kids to be rude to a woman and encourage them to take drugs. Such music influence kids to misbehave because it is presented to them as a good thing. Call me old school, but their style of music today is not on the path of what we started. As a result, their fame will just be for a while. You cannot expect people who have the resources to invest in your music when you are abusing and leading their kids astray,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Sunderland friendly helped Middlesbrough prepare for QPR, says Karanka

first_imgMiddlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has told his club’s website that a behind-closed-doors win over Sunderland was the perfect preparation for the visit to QPR.Prior to taking a break for a few days over the Easter weekend, promotion-chasing Boro beat the Black Cats 2-1, thanks to goals from Kike and Jordan Rhodes.And Karanka said he organised the fixture to keep the players’ minds and bodies sharp ahead of the run-in, which starts at Loftus Road on Friday night.He said: “The break was good and that’s why we decided to play Sunderland beforehand.“It’s better to feel that you’re playing another game rather than just being on the training ground.“I don’t think we’re going to improve our tactics a whole lot now because we’re approaching the end. So we’re just adding more sessions, being together and just keeping going.“QPR is an important game because we have eight games in April and every game is going to be massive.“You know that most of the teams we play are playing for something and so are we, especially.“After our win against Hull we’re in a really good position again and the lads are really excited.”Defender Daniel Ayala could return for Middlesbrough on Friday following almost two months out with an ankle injury.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Ben Klick, June 12

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We finished up on June 3. We got 350 acres of beans planted that week and a couple hundred acres of corn.  We had a good stretch of weather and ground conditions got right so we put the hammer down. We really never left the tractor seats apart from doing the morning chores. We kept after it. We also tried to get a bunch of hay made. I just mowed the last 20 acres last night.The first corn we planted is in desperate need of nitrogen right now and we have the sidedresser rolling. I am actually meeting with our agronomist this morning to go look at an acre or two that didn’t come up so I will probably spot some in this morning. There are a few drown-outs in the bottom spots. Overall things look pretty good though. We had good emergence and good, even stands. The heat is up and the slug issue should be done. We never really had slug issues before but this year was a record replant for this area with drowned out spots and slugs. That is unheard of in our area.I am pretty impressed with the way the crops turned out. It is actually a little bit on the dry side. The last rain we had was a tenth and a half on Friday night. It was a pop-up shower. They are calling for some pretty good chances this week.We are getting pretty good tonnage as far as first cutting rye hay goes for us with four or five bales per acre. We are still two or three weeks out from wheat harvest yet. Hopefully that gives us some time to get other stuff done before then. Things have shaped up. I wish things were like this a month ago.last_img read more

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Protest against extortion by extremists hits life in Dimapur

first_imgLife in Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, was affected on Wednesday as hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against “illegal taxation,” or extortion, by extremist groups and criminal organisations.The Public Action Committee of the Naga Council, Dimapur, which organised the rally, urged the government of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to crack down on these outfits.At least five outfits, including the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, collect “tax” periodically. Government and corporate employees have to shell out 22-24% of their salary and traders and the self-employed are required to pay more.“The State government must immediately stop all illegal taxation… It must also ban the syndicate and lease system and unauthorised collection centres run in and around Dimapur by unions and organisations, including Naga political groups [extremist groups] and government agencies, causing uncontrolled inflation,” the committee said in a statement.This is the second protest against the government’s failure to prevent extortion by extremist groups, almost all of which have declared a ceasefire. Another civil society organisation, Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation, staged a rally in September last year, demanding ‘one group one tax.’ The organisation had resolved that the people pay ‘tax’ to only one extremist group.last_img read more

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25 days agoBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the air

first_imgBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the airby Carlos Volcano25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to meet with defender Gerard Pique to clear the air after the latter’s recent comments.Sport says Pique has questioned the board twice in the last week. He said he did not like the team’s pre-season tours of Japan and the US, claiming “we did more travelling and less training and we’re feeling it.”Then he hinted that the board were planting stories in the media against the players.The objective of the meeting will be to smooth things over and stop Pique’s digs which in Madrid they are using to do more damage to Barcelona. About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Nuns funds and guns the firearms debate on Wall Street

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Some of Wall Street’s heaviest hitters are stepping into the national debate on guns as investment firms ask firearms makers what they are doing about gun violence.The firms speak softly, but because they own trillions of dollars’ worth of stock, their voices travel far. And they’re now joining forces with some unusual allies, including smaller and untraditional investors. In this context, the investment fund BlackRock, which owns big stakes in three different gun makers, might end up working alongside a group of nuns.Sister Judith Byron, the director and co-ordinator of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, says her group and BlackRock appear to have similar ideas when it comes to gun manufacturers and retailers. Following the killing of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, funds like BlackRock started asking gun manufacturers what they are doing to reduce the risks of gun violence, and asking retailers how much they make from selling guns.Byron says her group, a coalition of religious communities and health care systems, invested in firearms makers a decade ago and has been working on gun safety issues for years. In the last few months the coalition introduced resolutions pushing American Outdoor Brands, Sturm Ruger and retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods to give reports to investors about the steps they are taking to reduce gun violence.“We’re hoping we can engage these big investors and encourage them to vote for our resolutions,” she says.Some larger investors have similar views. The biggest public pension funds in the U.S., CalPERS, recently refused to sell its investments in companies that sell assault rifles. It says that by remaining an investor, it’s been able to get those companies to make positive changes.The nuns aren’t protesters, and they don’t carry props or signs to disrupt board meetings, although they sometimes work alongside groups that use those tactics. Byron says some of the shareholder meetings she’s attended have been downright pleasant, with investors and board members thanking her for asking questions.Support from investment firms was crucial to the coalition’s big success last year when, after decades of work, it backed a successful resolution that required oil giant Exxon Mobil to disclose the effects climate change is having on its business.Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said companies are often reluctant to risk any sales in order to do the responsible thing. But it does sometimes happen, as when CVS stores stopped selling cigarettes in 2014. He said activists deserve most of the credit for getting the funds to speak out.“BlackRock didn’t wake up one morning and say, ‘We are going to take a different approach to investing, it’s the right thing to do,’” he said. “It’s a reaction to the activists.”The top priority of firms like BlackRock, State Street and mutual fund company Vanguard is to make as much money as possible for their clients. But because they own so much stock, they can wield a lot of influence: They can support new directors who want to change the direction of the company and back proposals that change the way it operates.BlackRock is a major shareholder in gun makers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands, and Vista Outdoor Brands. About a week after the shooting in Parkland, BlackRock said it wanted to speak with the three firearms makers about their responses to the tragedy. The fund said it is looking into creating new investment funds for investors that exclude firearms makers and retailers, and if many funds and investors followed suit, that would affect the price of those stocks.In a letter to BlackRock, American Outdoor Brands said it supports steps that will promote gun safety while protecting the rights of firearm owners. The company said it backs measures including improved background checks and improved support for people with mental illnesses, but said it’s opposed to “politically motivated action” that won’t improve public safety. Sturm Ruger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.In other words, there are limits to the funds’ power. They aren’t choosy investors and won’t dump the gun makers no matter what they say. That’s because their main investment strategy to invest in huge numbers of companies, including every stock listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.According to Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA’s director of research into funds and exchange-traded funds, that means BlackRock and Vanguard don’t have that much leverage compared to activist investors or hedge funds. Those investors can have more dramatic effects on individual companies because they can buy up the stock, run for seats on the board themselves, or threaten to sell the shares if they don’t like the company’s choices.“They can use their wallet and sell the shares or they can pressure the companies and threaten to sell the shares if actions aren’t taken,” said Rosenbluth. So far, he said those investors aren’t really getting involved in the debate.Still, there have been changes: Dick’s, Walmart, Kroger and L. L. Bean have all said they will no longer sell guns to shoppers under the age of 21. Rosenbluth said that has more to do with the ongoing national debate about gun safety and regulations than anything the investment firms have said, and he believes laws will ultimately have a larger effect.But Byron, who also wants new gun laws, says she is encouraged by the response from corporate America.“We see companies taking leadership roles in environmental and social issues, which is encouraging,” said Byron, adding that as shareholders, “they’re our companies. We own them.”last_img read more

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Not me says Lighthizer as Freeland NAFTA negotiators grind forward

first_imgWASHINGTON – A bombshell claim of “resistance” to Donald Trump’s presidency inside the White House inserted itself Thursday into Canada’s painstaking march toward a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s two hours of talks with her U.S. counterpart, trade czar Robert Lighthizer, barely registered in the American capital despite the high-stakes for the continent’s economy.As Trump fumed, and a full-scale hunt was launched the identity of the anonymous author of a New York Times op-ed piece, Lighthizer was drawn into the stranger-than-fiction drama, joining a series of Trump administration officials who publicly denied authorship and declared their loyalty to the president.“It does not reflect my views at all, and it does not reflect the views of anyone I know in the Administration. It is a complete and total fabrication,” Lighthizer said in a widely reported written statement.He joined Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and others in issuing his disclaimer to being the Washington’s most famous anonymous Beltway politico since Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal.A block from the White House, where a furious Trump was Tweeting fire at the disloyalty from his inner circle, Freeland and Lighthizer pushed on with talks that cut to the core of North American prosperity.They issued fresh marching orders for their respective negotiating teams. Freeland maintained the same upbeat tone she has held since arriving in Washington this week to reboot talks with the Trump administration.“We really are confident, as we have been from the outset, that a deal which is good for Canada, good for the United States and good for Mexico is possible,” Freeland said, as she departed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative on her way to the Canadian Embassy.Freeland returned to Lighthizer’s office Thursday night for a 20-minute meeting that she said was constructive.“It was important to discuss a couple of issues face-to-face,” she said, without elaborating.But with the economic fate of workers and industries in three North American countries hanging in the balance, the New York Times piece sparked questions about how the fallout would affect the bump-and-grind of the NAFTA negotiations.Derek Burney, who was former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff during the original 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade negotiations, said any direct impact was unlikely but Trump remained “the big wild card” in the negotiation.“We have to hope to catch him between tantrums to get a deal,” said Burney, who along with Mulroney has advised the current Trudeau government on how to negotiate with Trump.Trump is likely “feeling pressure on many fronts these days and may be frustrated to learn the limits to his authority on trade, hence his warning to Congress ‘not to interfere’,” said Burney, who became Canada’s U.S. ambassador after the original free trade deal.Canada and the U.S. need to present an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico.Trump is threatening to move ahead on a deal that excludes Canada, but he also needs a win on trade ahead of midterm elections in November that will test his ability to keep control of Congress.Flavio Volpe, the president of the Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said he didn’t think the latest bombshell would directly affect the negotiators inside the room.“But it certainly underscores for all of us observing the talks that it’s not that easy to do this negotiation. It’s a compressed timeline with an ever-changing counterparty,” said Volpe, who was in Washington on Thursday for meetings with auto industry representatives on the possible impact of Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Canadian automobiles.Trump has already imposed hefty tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, using a section of U.S. trade law that gives him executive authority to do that in the name of national security.Freeland reiterated her view Thursday that the fate of those tariffs was separate from the NAFTA talks, and she urged the administration to lift the “unjustified and illegal” action.During the day, she and Lighthizer pored over results from their front-line negotiators who held a long stretch of talks that started Wednesday night and finished in the early morning hours of Thursday.Freeland stuck to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public — an agreement struck with the tough-talking Lighthizer as an act of good faith.The two sides still have to resolve differences on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.The goal of this week’s talks is to reach a deal by Dec. 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.last_img read more

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