Is this the reason Harry Kane didn’t leave Tottenham for Manchester United?

first_img Harry Kane 1 Spurs striker Harry Kane might have missed any summer offers from Manchester United after blanking his phone for his holidays.Louis van Gaal’s side were reportedly ready with a £50m to pair the England forward up with Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford.But Kane claims he shut himself away from football in the close season, on the advice of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.“It was important for me to have a good break after the Euros and last season,” Kane said.“The gaffer said that I should go away for three weeks and just forget about football, clear my mind and relax.“So I went to America and the Bahamas with my girlfriend, played some golf, chilled on the beach and tried to forget about the phone and not look at social media.”last_img read more

Stoke 0-0 Arsenal: Gunners reclaim top spot but miss the chance to take a two-point lead

first_img Stoke 0-0 Arsenal: Gunners return to the top but miss the chance to take a two-point lead Arsenal squandered the chance to move two points clear at the top of the Premier League when they drew 0-0 at Stoke.With all that said it was a good point at the Britannia, considering it is a ground where they have had little luck in previous years, but Arsene Wenger may see it as a failure to capitalise on a good chance to edge ahead of Claudio Ranieri’s second-placed Leicester.Goalkeepers Jack Butland and Petr Cech were the star players, as they made excellent saves at both ends to ensure clean sheets for their team.The point did see the visitors return to the top on goal difference, while Stoke remain seventh.The Potters were without one of their star men in the form of summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri (hamstring), while Arsenal were dealt a cruel blow as Mesut Ozil was missing with a foot problem.  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced the German assister, with new signing Mohamed Elneny taking a place on the bench.With the Foxes dropping points in the Midlands derby at strugglers Aston Villa, Wenger’s men will have known the task at hand – to take advantage of this season’s surprise side dropping points.That task was not so easy as they were up at a ground where they have not enjoyed recent trips.Since the Potters were promoted to the Premier League in 2008, Arsenal have won just one of eight matches in all competitions in Staffordshire, with that solitary success coming in February 2010.Mark Hughes’ men started the livelier of the two, with few chances for either side in the opening quarter. Marko Arnautovic blasted over after shooting on the turn, while Dutchman Ibrahim Afellay soon slid an 18-yard shot past Petr Cech’s post.The best chance of the half fell for the north Londoners though, when the ball was laid on a plate for Olivier Giroud on the right of the box. The Frenchman opened up his body and tried to shape a left-footed effort into the far corner and England’s deputy Jack Butland reacted brilliantly to get a palm to the ball.The 22-year-old shot-stopper made another superb save to deny Oxlade-Chamberlain minutes later, tipping the midfielder’s curling effort over the crossbar.Arnautovic should have got a head to the ball as Glen Johnson’s powerful cross fizzed across the face of goal and City were thankful early in the second half as Butland was on hand again.With the Gunners pressing for an opener within minutes of the restart, Aaron Ramsey’s corner was headed towards goal and Butland was ever-present to get the ball away from danger again.Arsenal desperately claimed for a penalty when Philipp Wollscheid dragged the on-running Theo Walcott back, but referee Craig Pawson waved away their appeals.As the game opened up, Cech made a stunning double save to deny Joselu before Bojan Krkic attempted to follow up from a tight angle.Stoke grew into the contest and Wenger made the first move, introducing Alex Iwobi in place of Walcott.Few shots were spurned in the final 15 minutes as Hughes’ men battled on.Glenn Whelan had a long-range shot cleared en route to goal late on and Nacho Monreal cleared the ball off the line minutes later.It was a tale of two solid goalkeeping performances as Stoke settled for a hard-earned point against the league leaders. 1last_img read more

Congress works on remedies for loans

first_imgLast week, the House approved some relief for homeowners, changing tax law so that debt forgiven to those unable to repay a mortgage would no longer be treated as taxable income.Meanwhile, Democrats are pressing President Bush to appoint a special adviser to coordinate a federal response to the crisis.Sanchez’s bill — supported by Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, and George Miller, D-Martinez — would revise the bankruptcy law to help homeowners facing foreclosure by repealing a provision that forbids judges from modifying a home mortgage.Calling the proposal “a measured response to the mortgage crisis,” Sanchez said current law — which allows judges to restructure loans for a vacation home or an investment property but not a primary residence — is “fundamentally unfair.”She said her measure could save up to 600,000 homeowners from foreclosure.While the bill passed a subcommittee on a 5-4 party-line vote, the mortgage industry has vowed to continue fighting it.That’s because industry officials maintain that letting judges rewrite loan terms would destabilize mortgage-backed securities, dry up capital and push up interest rates.“We want to help you, but I do not want to help you to hurt you,” Utah Republican Rep. Chris Cannon said in opposing the measure.Cannon said the measure would hurt would-be homeowners’ ability to buy property in the future — and may even trigger a recession.He called it an “overreaction” to the crisis, adding, “Who stands to benefit from this law? Bankruptcy lawyers.”Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, who is on the House Financial Services Committee, said he is still studying the legislation, but cautioned that Congress can’t turn home mortgages into unsecured loans.“Lenders have got to be pushed to work with the borrower,” he said.He also pushed for Senate passage of a measure the House approved earlier this year that raises the limit on the size of loans that Fannie May and Freddie Mac can buy in high-cost areas like the San Fernando Valley.The current limit is $417,000 — too low to help valley residents trying to refinance or sell in order to avoid foreclosure, he said.In the meantime Sherman, Sanchez and others are calling for an end to “teaser rates” to protect against future crises.And Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is expected to unveil legislation this year addressing broker and lender duties.But government watchdogs noted that both the real estate and mortgage industries are major campaign contributors with friends in both parties.Last year, real estate agents gave members of Congress $33 million — 42 percent to Democrats and 53 percent to the GOP.Mortgage bankers, meanwhile, gave $1.2 million with 41 percent going to Democrats and 58 percent to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.“No matter what area you represent, your constituents own homes, so the industry has an interest in having your ear. They spread their money,” said Massie Rich, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit watchdog group.But, he noted, those same homeowners stand a strong chance of trumping special interests.“In the end, votes are what get you elected, not money,” he said.lisa.friedman@langnews.com160Want 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 MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityStill, with the peak problems linked to rising adjustable rates that are expected to move even higher, pressure is mounting on lawmakers and the Bush administration to take quick action.“I hear from families a lot, families that were stretched to get into their first home,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, who sponsored last week’s measure. “They’re worried.”Many homeowners facing foreclosure were initially able to take out mortgages with small or nonexistent down payments by obtaining an adjustable rate — sometimes called a “teaser” rate.But the percentage points on those rates are climbing, catching homeowners in the bind of being unable to refinance.As many as 2.5 million adjustable-rate mortgages — worth about $600 billion — are expected to jump from “teaser” rates to higher rates this year and next. As hundreds of thousands of homeowners nationwide face potential foreclosure, a heated battle is brewing in Congress over how to address the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.The mortgage woes are hitting California particularly hard, with 57,875 of the nation’s 243,947 foreclosures being filed in the Golden State, according to the Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc.Los Angeles County accounted for nearly 12,000 of the month’s foreclosures.But while legislation moved forward last week to allow judges to modify the terms of a home’s first mortgage in a bankruptcy proceeding, it faced fierce objections from Republicans who said it would drive up interest rates.last_img read more

Jets to give Clemens a chance

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I made this decision not based on singling out Chad for where we are, but based on the fact that I think Kellen has earned this opportunity,” Mangini said. “I want to give him this opportunity. It’s in no way an indication that Chad is solely responsible. “We all are.” The 31-year-old Pennington, in his eighth season, has failed to move the offense as the Jets have lost five straight and rank 30th in total offense. Only Buffalo and San Francisco are worse. “When your team is struggling, people look for answers and coaches have to look for answers and sometimes the first position that is looked at is the quarterback position,” Pennington said. “I understand that.” Clemens, in his second season out of Oregon, replaced Pennington late Sunday in the Jets’ 13-3 loss to Buffalo. Clemens was just 5-for-12 for 67 yards and two interceptions, but one of those came as time expired. From news services Eric Mangini summoned Chad Pennington into his office and broke the news that the New York Jets have a new starting quarterback. Now it’s Kellen Clemens’ turn to see if he can turn around the season. “Coach made it clear that I’m not the villain here,” Pennington said Monday. “And I’m not the only one to blame for the lack of our success or our problems, but he did feel like Kellen deserved a chance.” Mangini’s announcement that he’s going with Clemens as his starter for Sunday’s game against Washington wasn’t a huge surprise. It’s a move fans and media have been suggesting for weeks as the Jets struggled to a 1-7 start. J.P. Losman lost his job as the Bills’ starting quarterback due to injury this season. Now, Trent Edwards can wonder if it’s his turn. Coach Dick Jauron gave the quarterback revolving door another spin Monday, a day after Edwards sprained his right wrist and watched from the sideline while Losman stepped in to lead the Bills to a 13-3 win over the New York Jets. Jauron said it’s too early to determine whether Edwards’ throwing hand will recover in time to play Sunday when the Bills (3-4) host Cincinnati (2-5). And yet, the coach declined to say whether Edwards, the rookie third-round pick, would reclaim the job once he’s healthy. Tony Dungy welcomed the three-ring circus back to Indianapolis. With more reporters, more hype and more debate than a regular-season game typically merits, Dungy instructed his Colts to have fun as they prepare for another high-wire act: Playing the dreaded Patriots. “I really think that’s why you’re in the league, for games like this,” the coach said. “So I think you’ve got to enjoy it and focus on the task at hand.” You can bet there will be lots of not-so-subtle reminders about the Colts’ task everywhere they look this week, in meetings, on television and radio, even in the grocery store. Since the Patriots (8-0) have won every game by at least 17 points, most consider the three-time Super Bowl champs the league’s best team. Quarterback Tom Brady is on pace to shatter Peyton Manning’s single-season touchdown record (49), and many outsiders have argued for weeks whether New England could finish the season 16-0. Tony Romo didn’t have to wait until the offseason to get his big payday from the Dallas Cowboys after all. Romo has agreed to a six-year, $67 million deal that will be announced today, according to a person familiar with the deal. The contract, which will become effective this week and provides salary cap relief for Dallas, including $30 million in guaranteed money. Edwards could be next The Big Game is here Romo gets $67 million Around the league Chargers: The NFL and NFL Players Association will contribute $250,000 through a disaster relief fund to the San Diego Chargers’ fire relief fund to assist victims of San Diego County’s wildfires. Titans: Long snapper Ken Amato tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season. Rams: Guard Richie Incognito will likely miss the rest of the season with a right kneecap injury sustained in Sunday’s loss to the Browns. Coach Scott Linehan also said running back Steven Jackson, sidelined by back spasms in the first half after a strong start, has a bulging disk. But he said the injury is treatable and was optimistic Jackson would not miss a game after the Rams’ bye this week. Redskins:Cornerback Carlos Rogers is out of the year with torn ligaments in his right knee. Lions: The Lions and Charles Rogers are scheduled for a grievance hearing before an arbitrator in the Detroit area. The team is seeking more than $10 million of its former receiver’s $14-plus million signing bonus because he was suspended for four games in 2005 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Seahawks: A bye week still wasn’t enough for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and some other Seahawks starters. Hasselback rested his strained oblique during practice. Receiver Deion Branch, right tackle Sean Locklear and left guard Rob Sims also sat out as trainers tried to capitalize on another players’ off day Tuesday to get extended rest for some sore starters.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Online retailers try to lure the store-fatigued with incentives

first_imgNEW YORK – After a long weekend of battling maddening crowds at the malls, the last thing most people want to do is return to the stores after work to do more shopping. To make it easier for the bruised, battered and otherwise shopped-out, retailers kicked off the official start to the online season, dubbed “Cyber Monday,” with lots of come-ons to keep the cash registers ringing even as consumers return to work. With an overall holiday season expected to be the weakest since 2002, and the number of new online customers leveling off, Web retailers are dangling even more incentives to keep them buying online, including fat discounts and free shipping without minimums. On Monday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched five days of specials available only at Walmart.com. The 150 online specials this week is triple the number that was offered a year ago and include $60 quartz cocktail rings and $1,198 Samsung 40-inch LCD HDTVs. Toys “R” Us Inc. held a one-day online sale, and rival eToys.com launched a two-day sale. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“More and more retailers are using Cyber Monday as a promotional event,” said Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst at comScore Networks Inc., an Internet research firm. Target Corp., Circuit City Stores Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., Crate & Barrel, the Discovery Store and Overstock.com Inc. were among dozens of retailers offering free shipping Monday. The incentives seemed to work, with many sites reporting surges in traffic that at least met expectations. Ice.com, an online jewelry site that offered 20-percent-off coupons, reported that traffic soared more than 70 percent and sales were up 82 percent as of Monday afternoon. Ice’s CEO, Shmuel Gniwisch, had projected a 65 percent gain in business. Ebags.com, which offered a 20 percent discount on merchandise Monday, reported an almost 49 percent increase in sales compared with a year ago, beating expectations for 20percent growth. Raul Vazquez, CEO of Walmart.com, expected 7 million visits to the site Monday, up from more than 5.5 million a year ago. As of mid-afternoon, plenty of items had already sold out, including $448 1-carat diamond earrings, $38 toy workbenches from Step2 and $10 Thomas the Tank Engine toys. There were some snags. The heavy traffic overwhelmed an e-commerce service offered by Yahoo Inc., preventing consumers from completing purchases at thousands of Web sites Monday. The outages began late in the morning on the East Coast and continued for at least four more hours, Yahoo spokeswoman Kristen Wareham said. The problems affected more than half of the roughly 40,000 sites that subscribe to Yahoo’s “merchant solutions” service, which costs $39.95 a month plus a 1.5percent sales commission. Although the first Monday after Thanksgiving kicks off the online holiday shopping season, it’s not the busiest day for retailers, according to comScore. Last year, the busiest online shopping day was Wednesday, Dec. 13, generating $667 million in sales. The Monday after Thanksgiving was actually the 12th busiest day in terms of sales for the 2006 holiday season. Still, Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for The National Retail Federation, which coined the term Cyber Monday, noted that even though more than half of U.S. homes now have high-speed Internet access, a growing number of office workers feel more comfortable shopping online at work. This year, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Foundation, 54.5 percent of office workers with Internet access, or 68.5million people, are expected to shop for holiday gifts from work, up substantially from 50.7 percent in 2006 and 44.7 percent in 2005.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

BREAKING NEWS: FULL LIST OF AREAS HIT BY WATER CUTS TONIGHT

first_imgPlanned Restrictions to public water supplies (Wednesday 29th December 2010)Demand for water remains high throughout the County which is drawing down water in reservoirs. As a result water supply will be restricted in the following areas tonight, note some from as early as tea-time:Whilst these are planned shut downs to conserve water – the public are reminded that other areas may be interrupted at anytime to facilitate repairs to mainsGLENTIES ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am The RossesGweedoreLeittermacaward AreaArdara AreaGortahork FalcarraghCreeslough Dunfanaghey DONEGAL ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am BallyshannonBundoranBallintraRossnowlaghFrosses MountcharlesSTRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am ConvoyCastlefinRaphoeLiffordBallinacorTievebrackGleneelyBallybofey and Stranorlar – supply will also be turned off to the Twin Towns from midnight until 8.00am each nightINISHOWEN ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 8:00pm until 8:00amQuigley’s Point to north of Muff villageThree GlensLETTERKENNY ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas South Letterkenny Area from 8:00pm until 8:00am including Rahan, Ballyboe, Scibley, Lismonaghan, Correnagh, Rockhill,Newmills and ConwallThe following areas of Letterkenny from 8:00pm until 8:00am Glencar Road, Pearse Road, Canal Road, Neil T. Blaney Road andGlenmaquinn Ballyraine Area from midnight until 8:00am including Sylvan Park, Ashlawn, Ballyraine Park, Orchard Grove,Thorndale, Magherannan Heights and Elmwood DownsAltangaddy Group Scheme Ramelton from 8:00pm until 8:00am including Moorfield, Breaghy and Carnisk AreasWater Conservation AppealDonegal County Council continue to record an increase in demand on a number of water supplies in the county during the current cold weather conditions. We suspect the increased demand for water arises fromtaps left runningburst mains which have not yet been locatedleakage in private propertiesThe Water Service in Donegal wish to appeal to the public to help us eliminate such wastage. This will help save water stored in reservoirs and avoid further shortages throughout the county .With the experience from the widespread disruption last winter we are highlighting the following areas in particular where the public can help eliminate wastage of the public water supply:Running taps – please avoid leaving taps running. This is counter productive and will run down available water in storageBurst mains / leakage – any suspected leaks on watermains or wastage should be reported to the County Council at your local public services centre.Vacant properties – please continue to check vacant properties where internal plumbing may be damaged by freezing conditions. Ideally the water supply to vacant buildings should be turned off and systems drained of all water, e.g. where members of the public who are going on holiday during the coming months, we would recommend that they turn off the water supply to their premises and drain all water out of the system before leaving the property.Farming Community – we ask that you check all field connections and turn off leaking drinking troughs. This has proven to be a serious problem in rural areas in recent years. We also ask for your assistance in checking for burst pipes in farm buildings and burst hoses laying over ground. Essentially anywhere on the farm that water may be lostCaravan Parks – another area that is often remote where plumbing may be exposed and water losses can be slow to appear, we appeal to all caravan park owners to turn off the water supply to eliminate wastage.Once again the co-operation of every community is required if we are to avert widespread shortages in water supplies.BREAKING NEWS: FULL LIST OF AREAS HIT BY WATER CUTS TONIGHT was last modified: December 29th, 2010 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

YOUTHREACH OFFERS COURSES TO HELP TAKE YOUR CAREER FORWARD

first_imgAre you aged between 15-20 years? Have you left school early? Do you have little or no qualifications? If so, you may be interested in joining your nearest Youthreach programme? What is Youthreach?Youthreach is the Department of Education and Skills official education, training and work experience programme for early school leavers. In Co Donegal the programme is managed by Donegal ETB. There are six centres across the county in Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Glengad, Gortahork, Lifford and Letterkenny (which celebrates its 25th anniversary this October!).What Does Youthreach Offer?Youthreach offers young people a wide range of learning and training opportunities.A range of national QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland – formerly FETAC) qualifications are provided including Levels 1 or 2 General Learning, Level 3 General Learning or Employability Skills and Level 4 General Learning. Subjects, varying from centre to centre, include art and craft, catering, computers, childcare, hairdressing, health and fitness, literacy, numeracy, office skills, outdoor pursuits, personal development, woodcraft and many more. Work experience is also an important part of the Youthreach programme. Other qualifications include basic food hygiene, ECDL, First Aid and Gaisce Awards.Centres also provide an extensive health promotion programme covering areas such as positive mental health, sexual health, alcohol and drugs, road safety, citizenship and money management.Fun is also an important part of Youthreach and regular trips and events such as an annual county-wide table quiz, masterchef, pool, bowling and football competitions also take place throughout the year.Once you’ve completed a Youthreach programme you can progress to employment or other further education opportunities – our career Advocates will help you on your way.You’ll receive a weekly training and meal allowance (16-20 year olds) and a travelling allowance if appropriate. Youthreach enrolment takes place all year round so you don’t have to wait until September – call your nearest centre now!You can also check out each centre on Facebook or our Twitter account @DonegalYR or website www.donegaletb.ie/youthreachBallyshannon (Antoinette) – 071 98 51286; Buncrana/Glengad (Jayne) – 074 93 62466; Gortahork (Pat) – 074 91 35218; Letterkenny (Gillian) – 074 91 22585; Lifford (Aidan) – 074 91 42114YOUTHREACH OFFERS COURSES TO HELP TAKE YOUR CAREER FORWARD was last modified: April 29th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessFeaturesnewsYOUTHREACHlast_img read more

Nigel Pearson is the big favourite for Aston Villa job – Coral Daily Download

first_imgCoral’s Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.England were beaten 2-1 by the Netherlands at Wembley on Tuesday night in their latest Euro 2016 warm-up clash, and they are now out to 9/1 to lift the trophy in France this summer.Wales, meanwhile, are 80/1 to secure an unlikely Euro triumph, Republic of Ireland are 150/1 and Northern Ireland are a massive 400/1.In club football, Aston Villa are searching for a new boss after Remi Garde’s departure on Tuesday and Nigel Pearson is the early favourite for the job at 6/4.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img read more

Danny Drinkwater to escape disciplinary action for dismissal against Man United

first_img Danny Drinkwater could miss Leicester’s title-clinching game after being sent off against Man United 1 Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater will face no further action over his response to being sent off in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.The England international was shown a second yellow card in the 86th minute at Old Trafford for pulling back Memphis Depay just outside the area.Drinkwater reacted angrily towards referee Michael Oliver but the incident was not reported by the official so will not be taken any further.The 26-year-old therefore avoids the fate of team-mate Jamie Vardy, who saw his ban extended to two matches after venting his fury at his sending-off against West Ham last month.Drinkwater will still serve a one-match ban for the red card, ruling him out of Saturday’s clash with Everton, which could see Leicester clinch the Premier League title.Manager Claudio Ranieri said: “I am very sad because he will miss the next game at home.”Foxes team-mate Marc Albrighton added: “Danny will be gutted that he won’t be able to be involved next Saturday but whoever steps in will be just as important for us in there, which has happened all season whenever anyone has had to fill someone’s shoes.Leicester and United will have to wait until Tuesday to find out whether either Robert Huth or Marouane Fellaini will be charged for their off-the-ball altercation.Fellaini was picked up by TV cameras swinging an elbow at Huth after the Leicester defender had pulled his hair.The Football Association will wait for Oliver’s report before deciding whether further punishment is warranted for either man.last_img read more

After drought, ski resort operators pray for snow

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champFresh powder would fall on more than a foot of man-made snow. New runs would open near summits. And hordeshoards of snow buffs would hit the slopes. At least that was the hope.“It’s the talk of the town, especially in our industry,” said John McColly, director of marketing for Wrightwood Mountain High in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles.“All the retailers, they love it. And for consumers, natural snow … who doesn’t like powder?”Last year, there wasn’t much to like.On the flats, Los Angeles experienced its driest year on record, with 3.21 inches of rain. At Wrightwood, that translated to just 29 inches of snow – or 120 inches below normal at the 7,000-foot resort. It also meant a 10 percent decrease in attendance, from the typical 500,000 to about 450,000 visitors.At Mount Waterman, that meant a trace 8 inches – and never opening.Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, the downhill mecca in the Sierra Nevada for a million visitors a year, got just over half its normal 400-inch allotment.Up at Bear Mountain and nearby Snow Summit in Big Bear, operators purchased $6 million in snow-making equipment to ensure the runs were white. This year, the co-owned resorts bought $600,000 more.“It wasn’t the best year,” McColly said. “In February, it heated up to 60 degrees. And we had to close in March. Not only did we not have natural snow, we didn’t have the cold temperatures to make it. We were just twiddling our thumbs.”Despite the short season, Mountain High remained profitable, said McColly, who declined to release financial figures.This year, snow fiends may have a better go. But only slightly better.Because of an emerging La Ni?a weather system, or cooler waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, forecasters have predicted another dry winter.And that could mean a third less rain and snow, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Ca?ada Flintridge.“What we need is these big cold North Pacific-Gulf of Alaska storms, which are wet and cold,” he said. “But at this point, looking ahead to December through March, the four big snow months, La Ni?a is not going to deliver.”As what had portended to be a big cold North Pacific storm crawled down California last week, operators remained hopeful to have all runs open by Christmas.In anticipation of a better season, ski resorts statewide spent the summer upgrading lifts and services.Wrightwood invested $1 million in improvements, including sliding rails and jibs for snowboarders. Bear Mountain added to its snowboard tricks. Mammoth opened a “Cloud 9 Express,” now ferrying six instead of two at twice the speed on Chair 9.And Snow Summit and Bear Mountain had a squadron of new snow machines at the ready. Both resorts temporarily closed Fridaycq as new snow fell.“Last weekend, we did sell out,” said Kim Hermoncq, marketing director for Bear Mountain, which mostly caters to snowboarders. “We’re starting out OK.“Our goal is to get everything open by Christmas. So we just continue to make snow, make snow. Our guys work around the clock. We’re basically snow farmers – we make it happen.”“We’re going to plug on, whether its from our guns or Mother Nature,” said Chris Riddle, marketing director at Snow Summit, as rain turned to snow on Friday.Mammoth spokeswoman Laura Johnson looked out last week as fresh snow drifted past her window. By Friday morning, the ski area had received up to 12 feet of snow.“We’re not the weather forecasters, but with the snow that’s falling right now, we’re excited about the season,” said Johnson, a snowboarder. “Last season was not so great; we were below average.“This year, I think it’ll be a later season. It’s looking like it’ll come through with us. La Ni?a could go either way.”Skiers and snowboarders have already planned snow vacations.At the Sports Ltd. boutique, they’ve already gone through several reorders of skis and boards.“It’s awesome,” store manager Lenny Rosenberg said. “We’re really excited. Everybody’s getting snow. It’s good.”Keith Sakamoto bought helmets for his 7-year-old and 4-year-old daughters for a trip to Mammoth next week for what would be his youngest daughter’s first run up the mountain.“We’re hoping for a good snow year,” said Sakamoto, 41, of Los Angeles. “We’re happy to go. It’s our first trip of the season.”Mark Markowiczcq popped in for a ski rack for four days up at Mammoth this weekend. Last year, the intermediate skier said he went twice to Big Bear, but it was crowded, with little snow. But this year is different.“I can’t even begin to say how excited I am,” said Markowicz, 19, of Woodland Hills. “It’s that time of year – I’ve waited all year for it.”dana.bartholomew@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A year after the worst snow season on record, snowboarders, skiers and mountain resort operators looked to this weekend’s storm for fluffy flakes of hope.For Anthony Kim, it meant a dash to Bear Mountain.“Last year was horrible, horrible. I went to Big Bear once last year, that’s how bad it was,” said Kim, 28, a Los Angeles snowboarder, picking up some last-minute gear at Sports Ltd. in Woodland Hills. “This year looks promising. If there’s powder, I’m there.”Lift operators at Southern California ski sites, which partially opened last month, had crossed their skis this weekend for what promised to be the first big storm of the year.last_img read more