Officials of Real Madrid at the occasion include: Manager, Real Madrid Foundation, Africa/Middle East, Inigo Arenillas; and Real Madrid Fund-Raising Officer, Oscar Diaz.While laying the foundation for the academy, President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad, said the academy is not only for Port Harcourt or Nigeria, but for the entire continent.He said the Real Madrid Football Academy would promote international football best practices in the continent as well as raise future stars.Ahmad noted that the timing of the construction of the academy was a proof that it was ordained by God.Initiator of the Real Madrid Football Academy and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who spoke at an international press conference and during the foundation laying ceremony, said the academy would help in building a new crop of International stars across the countryHe said the academy would be open to all kids, but with special preference for children from Rivers State, whose resources would fund the project.He said: “When we initiated this laudable project, people doubted it, making different cynical comments. However, today, this project has come to fruition. It will be a solid foundation for our children“We are proud to be associated with the best club in the world. Therefore, we will groom the best set of footballers “.Wike said the project would be completed in seven months and inaugurated for use by members of the public. He said children to be admitted into the school would be between eight and 16 years.“Sports is a catalyst for development. What we are doing is for the interest of everybody. To tell our footballers, we will do everything to support you,” he said.In his remarks, President of International Sports Press Association, Mr Gianni Merlo, said Real Madrid, as the best club in the world, would develop a new set of stars from the Academy in Rivers State.He said: “This is an important project for the whole world. It will mould international stars who will shape the game in the future”.NFF President, Pinnick, said with the Real Madrid Football Academy, Nigeria would ensure the emergence of another generation that would keep the nation’s flag flying in the international football circle.Rivers State Sports Commissioner, Mr Boma Iyaye, said with the establishment of the academy, Wike had shown unprecedented love for soccer.He said the academy would contain a club house, classrooms, conference centre, training pitches and 1,000 capacity spectator stand among other facilities.General Manager of the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, Tareh el-Hajj, said the academy was already in full swing as the management of Real Madrid in liaison with the Rivers State Government had set in motion modalities to ensure it succeeds.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ernest Chinwo in Port HarcourtOfficials of Real Madrid Football Club and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) yesterday flagged off the construction of the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, initiated by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.Sports dignitaries who attended the foundation laying ceremony at the precincts of Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, included the President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; President of International Sports Press Association, Gianni Merlo; President, International Sports Press Association Africa, Mitchell Obi; foreign sports writers, ex-internationals and top officials of Real Madrid Football Club.
One of the main talking points from Episode 7 of ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” was Michael Jordan’s time playing baseball.A real “wow” moment came when a Sports Illustrated cover was featured in the documentary. The cover read “Bag It, Michael! Jordan and the White Sox are embarrassing baseball.” The headline was extremely harsh, and upset Jordan to the point that he never talked to Sports Illustrated again. pic.twitter.com/ov17qGzDqr— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) May 11, 2020MORE: Michael Jordan’s best and worst baseball momentsThe article was written by author Steve Wulf with the editorial headline being “Err Jordan.” You can read the full 1994 column via the SI archives. Throughout, Wulf calls Jordan’s dream of playing baseball a “delusion” and blames the White Sox for their “exploitation of his quest” to play the sport.Jordan was clearly frustrated by Wulf’s words. He was asked by “The Last Dance” producers, “Did you feel betrayed by that SI cover?” Jordan replied, “Definitely.””I never was interviewed for that,” Jordan says in the documentary. “They came out to critique me. Without understanding what my passion was at the time. If you had a question, ask. And then if you want to write it, then you write it. That’s fine, no problem, that’s your opinion. But I can care less what people do. This is what I want to do. I’m not doing what they think I should be doing. My father already told me I was doing the right thing, and I did it.”Wulf was eventually hired by ESPN, and he’s since talked about that cover and his column on Jordan. In 2001, Wulf wrote a column for ESPN titled, “Bag it, skeptics” (a play on the SI cover). In there, he said he wrote an apology for Jordan in Sports Illustrated, but they didn’t publish it.From Wulf:I was working for Sports Illustrated back in ’94, and that spring I was asked to do a quickie story on Michael’s attempt to become a baseball player. I fell in step with all the skeptics in Florida, baseball people who thought it was a folly that was depriving some legitimate prospect of a chance to show what he could do.I had nothing to do with the incendiary Bag It, Michael cover billing, but my name was on the story, and I became persona non grata in Chicago, in the Bulls and White Sox camps, in MJ’s circle.When I went down to Orlando later that summer, I knew he wasn’t going to talk to me, but I had to see for myself. And I was at once mortified and exhilarated. He was a ballplayer. His manager, Terry Francona, thought so, and he wasn’t blowing smoke. I actually wrote a piece apologizing for my premature judgment, but SI chose not to run it.Wulf even added, “I’m convinced that with just a little more time, he could’ve made the majors on merit.”The author discussed the article in more detail in the ESPN Daily podcast with Mina Kimes. He again took issue with the headline created by editors. “The minute I saw that headline, I realized I’d probably be doing a podcast about it 21 years later,” Wulf joked. “I still cringe every time I see it, and I see it often. I wish they had run the headline by me.”Wulf also understands why Jordan was so frustrated.”I think he was rightly insulted,” Wulf told Kimes. “He wasn’t out to embarass baseball. He was out to pursue a dream that we thought at the time was delusional, but we should not have come down on him that hard.”
Share on: WhatsApp Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango of Uganda (C) tries to clear the ball during the Club World Cup football match between Kashima Antlers and Mamelodi Sundowns in Suita, Osaka . AFP PHOTOOsaka, Japan | AFP | Silvio Romero struck twice as Mexican side Club America beat Asian champions Jeonbuk Motors 2-1 on Sunday to set up a dream Club World Cup semi-final with Real Madrid.Local favourites Kashima Antlers salvaged some pride for Asia, however, when the Japanese title holders toppled South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the day’s second quarter-final in Osaka.In the early kickoff, Kim Bo-kyung swept Korean powerhouse Jeonbuk in front after 23 minutes before Romero pounced twice to send the CONCACAF representatives through to the last four.“The players showed character, attitude and heart,” America coach Ricardo la Volpe told reporters.“We made some changes and tweaked the system a bit in the second half and got the goals.“We passed a test today and we will play Real Madrid with no fear,” he added. “We will have to work twice as hard but everyone expects us to lose so there will be no pressure on us.”Romero equalised with a clinical header just before the hour mark and the Argentine striker volleyed home the winner via a slight deflection off Jeonbuk forward Kim Shin-Wook after 74 minutes as the K-League side wilted under the mounting pressure.Club America, who also beat Jeonbuk in the quarter-finals of the FIFA tournament 10 years ago, will face European champions Real Madrid, led by talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, in Yokohama on Thursday.The hulking Kim Shin-Wook, instantly recognisable with his peppermint green mohican, was a constant menace but well shackled by markers in a tense finish as the Mexicans clung on for the win. Kashima, who came from behind to beat part-timers Auckland City 2-1 in the tournament’s curtain raiser on Thursday, were gifted their opening goal by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango in the 63rd minute.Latching on to a knock-down from Shoma Doi, Yasushi Endo scuffed his left-foot shot which somehow squeezed under Onyango, bobbling out of his despairing grasp and over the line almost in slow motion.Substitute Mu Kanazaki killed the game off by smashing home from close range with two minutes left after more sloppy defending from the Africans.Kashima, fresh from clinching their eighth J-League crown last weekend, will face South American Libertadores Cup holders Atletico Nacional of Colombia in the competition’s first semi-final on Wednesday.“We struggled at the start to deal with their spirit,” said Kashima coach Masatada Ishii.“But we settled down in the second half, found a nice balance and scored two good goals. It was important to stay calm and we will have to be just as patient against Nacional.”Spanish giants Real are scheduled to arrive in Japan early Monday morning local time.
Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The father of Uganda’s double gold medal winner at the just ended Commonwealth Games has expressed his unhappiness on how the government treats family and friends of medal winners.Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei won gold for Uganda in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Games that climaxed on Sunday in Gold Coast, Australia.The team returned on Thursday afternoon and members from the Sebei Community, where Cheptegei comes from, were unfortunately first denied access to Entebbe International Airport and later the Old Airport VVIP Section to receive the team.“This is very unfortunate because we travelled from Kapchorwa to receive our children and now we have been denied chance to welcome them because the government wants to run the show. This is very bad,” Cheptegi’s father Stephenson Munerya Kwalya told URN. They had first been denied access at the Old Airport VVIP Section where the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni, was welcoming the team.Kwalya said there was no way him and his wife would enter the building unless the relatives who also travelled from Kapchorwa were allowed in. When State House staff Norah Nassimbwa arrived at the gate asking for Cheptegei’s mother, security then allowed all Sebei community members to enter, but were again denied entry to the Hall where a press conference was held. Only Cheptegei’s parents were allowed inside the Hall. The arrival of the team and planning was obviously not well coordinated as many members including some from the National Council of Sports (NCS) were bounced at the entrance.Major Juma Seiko, an aide of Gen Salim Saleh, the head of Operation Wealth Creation, was also a victim as he was seen crying after he was denied entrance to the Hall where the press conference took place. Seiko was heard abusing some security officers whom he said accused him of stopping Cheptegei’s parents from entering without other members from the Sebei community.“How can a junior officer accuse me of something I have not done and tarnishing my name in-front of the First Lady. I have served the army for 39 years and you cannot spoil my name like this,” said Seiko as his tears rolls down the face.Major Seiko is also a member from the Sebei community and occasionally comes to Entebbe International Airport to welcome athletes from Kapchorwa who win medals. Some of the athletes including Mose Kipsiro occasionally stay at his house in Nakasero when they are in Kampala.
Already crowned champions and winners of the Copa del Rey, Barca were controversially denied a guard of honour by Real but Villarreal were happy to perform the ‘pasillo’ as the hosts walked out before kick-off.Valverde left some key players out, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic all missing from the starting line-up. Messi, however, was included despite calls for the Argentinian now to be rested ahead of this summer’s World Cup.It meant a start for Dembele, who took his chance to impress with the stand-out performance of the night.Dembele has endured a difficult debut season since joining for 147 million euros from Borussia Dortmund last year but Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said this week he is not for sale, and the 20-year-old delivered the perfect response.“He is a player that has a lot of talent,” Valverde said. “He is fast, he has this spark. All players need a process of adaptation and when you are young you still have to learn. Next year Dembele will be with us.”His run that set up Coutinho’s opener in the 11th minute was arguably the moment of the match as he picked up the ball 10 yards inside Villarreal’s half before driving past three defenders and unleashing a shot.Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo palmed the ball away but only to Coutinho, who was left with a tap-in.Dembele then grabbed a late brace, his first an easy finish after a brilliant run by Rakitic down the right, his second coming after he sped away from Villarreal’s defence, and lifted the ball over the helpess Asenjo.Share on: WhatsApp Barcelona, Spain | AFP | Ousmane Dembele scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 5-1 on Wednesday and edged closer to their first ever unbeaten season in La Liga.But Real Madrid slipped to their only league defeat since February as a heavily-rotated side lost 3-2 away at Sevilla.Lionel Messi volleyed in a sumptuous pass from Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou to put Barca three up at half-time after Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho had scored one apiece in the first 16 minutes.The second period, however, belonged to Dembele, who capped an excellent individual display with two goals after the Frenchman’s sensational run had also earlier set up Coutinho.Villarreal managed a consolation when Pablo Fornals’ shot deflected in off Nicola Sansone but any fears Ernesto Valverde’s side would feel the effects of Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ proved unfounded.The league leaders moved 15 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top while Villarreal stay sixth.The Yellow Submarine are only three points ahead of Sevilla, however, who climbed back into the Europa League qualification spots with a well-deserved win over Real.Zinedine Zidane said he wanted to maintain momentum ahead of their Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26 but Marcelo, Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those not even included in his squad.Sevilla took full advantage as Wissam Ben Yedder, Miguel Layun and a Sergio Ramos own-goal put them three up, before Real substitute Borja Mayoral and a late Ramos penalty late gave Real a flatteringly close result.Barca drew last weekend against Real, despite playing the entire second half with 10 men, and they now need only avoid defeat in matches away at Levante and home to Real Sociedad to complete the campaign as invincibles.It would be the first time a team has finished a 38-game La Liga season unbeaten and the first in any format since Real avoided defeat in a division of only 10 teams in 1932.“In the end we have scored two great goals, we are happy about this and we keep the run going,” Valverde said.
Before the machine’s arrival, Maloney said residents would often put Styrofoam with other recyclables. It would end up in Middletown’s single-stream recycling collection as a contaminant, causing problems for the entire recycling process. When Styrofoam wasn’t mistakenly mixed with recycling, it was being thrown into the garbage. While this was the correct action to take, it was not an environmentally conscious one. Maloney explained that Styrofoam takes up a lot of space in a landfill. By saving space in the landfill, Maloney said the county is also saving money. New Collection Sites at Recycling Yard, Train Station What he did not expect was for the machine to be constantly jam-packed, nearly two months after its debut. “Most people will do everything they can to not throw things into the garbage if they think it can be recycled,” Maloney said. “The problem is Styrofoam had no alternative (for recycling) around here or anywhere close.” By Raven Rentas Three collection bins, and the recycling machine itself, are located at the Middletown Recycling Center, and two collection bins can be found at the Middletown train station. The Middletown Recycling Center is located at 52 Kanes Lane and is open Thursday through Monday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Middletown train station’s collection bin is always available. It is located toward the back of the train station’s parking lot on Church Street. “Styrofoam is not really heavy, so we don’t get charged a lot to bring it to a landfill, but the impact it has in volume is huge,” Maloney said. “The education process is ongoing and we’re going to try to step it up each time,” Maloney said. Maloney was introduced to a concept similar to the Styrofoam recycling machine seven years ago at a conference. After seeing one in Sussex County, his interest in the idea grew. “I’ve always seen Styrofoam as a problem, both environmentally and economically,” he said. Maloney explained that over the course of a week, employees will pick up Styrofoam from the two collection sites and fill up an entire 40 cubic yard container. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when the recycling center is closed, workers will process Styrofoam through the recycling machine. At least two people put the Styrofoam into a machine where it travels down a shoot and gets chopped up. Maloney said it then gets melted down and “comes out looking like soft serve ice cream.” Employees eventually stack it down to pallets, bringing the Styrofoam to its final condensed form. This form is sold to Princeton Moulding Group, a local company that uses the recycled Styrofoam to make pictures frames and molding for construction. According to recycling supervisor Joe Puzzo, the condensed form of Styrofoam is around one-hundredth the size of the standard product. Maloney said from the Christmas season to now, the department of public works has reduced bulky Styrofoam into five condensed pallets. There are multiple steps to this drastic transformation. Middletown is home to the only two collection sites in Monmouth County that accept Styrofoam, a brand of expanded polystyrene (EPS), the plastic foam that is often used in packaging. It is commonly used to protect electronics, furniture and other fragile items in shipping. The township’s sustainability efforts are nowhere near complete. Maloney said the township is expecting to establish another collection site in the Bayshore area, possibly near Port Monmouth, in coming months. MIDDLETOWN – When Middletown Township revealed its Styrofoam recycling machine Dec. 26, public works director Ted Maloney expected it to be filled with leftover packaging from the holidays. “It’s been a whole continuous stream of it (Styrofoam) coming into the recycling center, so it’s great,” Maloney said. “There’s really no slowing of the stream, that’s for sure.” The collection bins are surrounded by other recycling containers as well, for items such as cardboard and paper. Although both sites are in Middletown, Styrofoam recycling is available to all residents in the county. The collection bins are labeled to remind citizens which plastic foam is acceptable. The Styrofoam recycling machine is just a small part of Middletown’s efforts to be more sustainable. According to Maloney, the township switched from dual stream recycling to single stream several years ago. Maloney said they also introduced the phrase “strive for five,” to remind its residents of the five materials they are allowed to recycle. He said they tag recycling carts that have nonrecyclables in them. They do this to educate residents while also making it easier for the recycling collection company to identify which carts are contaminated.
Tickets will be sold at all Stop N Shop outlets in Port Moresby. Grand stand tickets will cost K60 and outer stand tickets will be going for K30.No tickets will be sold at the gates on game day.Gates at the Sir John Guise stadium will open at 10am. The curtain raiser, which is a third and fourth playoff between the Hela Wigmen and Lae Tigers will kick off at 12pm.Following this will be the main game between the Agmark Gurias and the Simbu Lions at 3pm to decide the winner of the 2015 Digicel Cup competition.
A fuel dealer of Barima, North West District was on Monday relieved of close to .2 million by four armed men in the vicinity of Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.The 32-year-old businessman, Randy France and his taxi driver for the past six years were reportedly sitting in a parked car at the Kingston seawall close to the Tactical Services Unit, Eve Leary when he was relieved of a bag containing the money.Reports are the businessman travelled to the city to transact business at the Guyana Energy Agency but before going for his appointment at 13:30h he went to a city bank where he changed a cheque worth $5, 610 000. In addition, he had another $630, 000 in his possession. However, after leaving the bank, the duo went to the German Restaurant where they purchased some food and went to the seawall where they had lunch and waited for the 13:30h appointment at GEA. It was while waiting they were accosted by the gunmen.The man’s driver’s licence, passport, Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card for another bank were also in the bag with which the gunmen escaped from the scene.Upon doing so, the men then entered a Toyota Raum and made good their escape. The Police have since arrested the taxi driver in connection with the robbery, but the businessman has been using his services for the past six years.The Police are continuing their investigations.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – When a presidential campaign contacted the Rev. Leith Anderson to ask for a meeting recently, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals said he had a bigger priority that day. “I had a wedding or a funeral, I can’t remember which,” Anderson said, sitting in his book-lined office at the suburban Minneapolis megachurch he’s led for 31 years. “Anyway, I don’t pre-empt a wedding or a funeral for a presidential candidate. Because I’m a pastor.” Indeed, Anderson still leads seven services a weekend at Wooddale Church. But the story of the spurned candidate, whom he declined to name, offers some insight into his vision for the NAE – an organization that represents 45,000 churches and 30 million members. “My life is not in Washington,” Anderson said. “I am not a politician. What evangelists are about is primarily faith, and not politics.” The NAE has never had aims as explicitly political as other evangelical groups like the Christian Coalition. But it does have a presence on Capitol Hill and tries to set an agenda for the broader evangelical movement, issuing “Statements of Conscience” to guide the community activism of evangelical congregations around the country. Prominent evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson and James Dobson became known for their dedication to passing laws cracking down on legalized abortion and same-sex marriage. By contrast, climate change is the policy issue most closely associated with Anderson. In March, when Anderson was still interim president of the NAE, a group of religious right leaders including Dobson, of Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, wrote a letter to NAE leaders demanding that the organization fire its chief Washington lobbyist, Richard Cizik, for waging what they called a “relentless campaign” against global warming. They said it detracted from more pressing moral concerns. But Anderson stood by Cizik, and in August stepped up his own activism when he joined a delegation of evangelical pastors and scientists on a weeklong trip to Alaska to see firsthand the effects of climate change. “In terms of social issues, they relate to the sanctity of human life – before and after birth,” Anderson said. “So I would see issues like poverty, or the effects of climate change, as sanctity-of-life issues.” Anderson said concerns about abortion and same-sex marriage would always be important to many evangelicals. But he spoke of both in guarded terms, saying society has reached “something of a stalemate on abortion,” and noting that those concerned about the effect of gay marriage on the family structure should be just as focused on divorce and single-parent families. He said his broadening of priorities comes from increasing diversity among evangelicals, who he said have grown beyond a base of “white suburbanites” to include many blacks and Hispanics. “In the African-American community, there is a great deal of emphasis on issues of justice and poverty,” he said. “In the Hispanic community, there is a high concern over immigration and comprehensive immigration reform.” Anderson’s attempt to widen the movement’s priorities has raised concern, even inside the NAE. Jerald Walz, an NAE board member and the vice president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, joined in the criticism of Cizik’s global warming activism. He says now that he’s willing to give Anderson a chance, but “at the same time I’m chagrined because if we lessen our emphasis on our main issues that would be unfortunate. Evangelicals have not won the battle on life, and it would be unfortunate to shrink back from that at this point.” Anderson said he is willing to meet with presidential candidates – assuming there are no weddings or funerals at Wooddale that day. But he shows no concern at the idea that the evangelical movement will be less overtly political. “I am far more concerned about our spiritual influence rather than our political influence,” Anderson said. Those who know Anderson say he means it. “In all the years I’ve known him, I have not once ever known which candidate he voted for in any election,” Brushaber said. “He keeps that private.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Anderson, who moved from interim president to president of the NAE in October, brings both his biblical focus and a wide-ranging set of concerns about the environment and human rights to the leadership of the NAE at an unsettled time. His predecessor, Ted Haggard, resigned last year in a sex-and-drugs scandal. Meanwhile, evangelicals have been finding it difficult to settle on a Republican presidential candidate who is seen as viable and opposes both abortion and same-sex marriage. Anderson, 63, is among a group of evangelical leaders who are “just as orthodox in their theology” as leading conservative Christians but think that relating faith to culture is more complex than just a couple of issues, said George Brushaber, president of the evangelical Bethel College near St. Paul. “He wants the church to be part of the conversation in the public square, and not be owned by any narrow base,” said Brushaber, who has known Anderson for several decades.
“It is still the most important decision that will have to be made,” Casillas said. “If it’s the school board or the mayor, the most important thing is how that person performs in the job.” Huizar, who served more than four years on the school board, said his frustration led him to join forces with Padilla to form the independent panel. “I felt I was spending too much time on real estate and construction and not enough on education,” Huizar said. “There are good people in the district, but they don’t have the chance to focus on what’s important and what’s happening in the schools. And, too many schools were left on their own to survive.” A number of recommendations have been suggested to the commission, including expanding the school board, creating subdistricts, establishing more charter schools and changing the role of school board members to full-time jobs. In addition to recommendations on how the district is governed, Casillas said, the panel hopes to identify areas in which the district can improve without massive reforms. Casillas and Cunningham said a series of hearings around the district are planned over the next two months. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Reform of the Los Angeles Unified School District is inevitable – even if it stops short of full mayoral control, leaders of a panel examining the massive district said Tuesday. Maria Casillas and David Cunningham, who chair the President’s Joint Commission on LAUSD Governance, said they are confident the timing is right for change because of the level of interest in improvements. “We think that we can give you a road map for reform, a reform that will change the governance to help improve the level of education,” Cunningham told the City Council’s Education and Neighborhood Committee in a report on his group’s progress. “Ultimately, it will be up to the public to decide. But we believe all the stakeholders are ready to see change in the district.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant The panel was formed by former Council President Alex Padilla and then-School Board President Jose Huizar. Padilla stepped down from the presidency and Huizar was recently elected to the City Council; both now serve on the Education and Neighborhood Committee. Cunningham said the commission, which is scheduled to release its final recommendations by June, is not working with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa but is not opposing his efforts. The mayor has said he hopes to release by April his plans for changes in the LAUSD to give him more say in how the schools are run. A spokeswoman said Tuesday he is interested in the panel’s findings – but only as far as they coincide with his efforts to improve the schools. The commission’s work comes as Superintendent Roy Romer has announced he hopes to take an early retirement this year. Casillas, a former teacher and administrator with LAUSD, said Romer’s announcement does not change the panel’s work.