NYC star who could ignite Dragons’ attack

first_imgOnly the Knights (305) scored fewer points than the Dragons (341) in 2016, with the Red V making it back-to-back seasons as the second-lowest scoring team in the competition following their 435-point haul in 2015.One man who has no problems finding the line is Dufty, who finished his NYC career as the leading try-scorer in the competition’s history with 55 from 65 appearances in the famous red and white jersey.With 23 tries and 22 try assists last season, as well as 11 tries and 18 assists in 2015, Dufty could be the attacking spark the Dragons need to fight their way back into the Telstra Premiership top eight.The Junior Blues fullback – who also earned a spot on the bench in the NYC Team of the Year – forewent several opportunities to play in the Intrust Super Premiership last season to focus on his Holden Cup duties, but said he’d be willing to spend some time in reserve grade to gain some experience against more-seasoned opposition in 2017.While Dufty would love to don the No.1 jersey from the get-go next year, the youngster knows Dugan will get first crack if he chooses to remain at fullback rather than entertain a move to the centres. “The goal is to play NRL next year. I might not start the year there, but hopefully as the year goes on I’ll get a few games,” Dufty told NRL.com.”I had a talk to Mary (Dragons coach Paul McGregor) about it last year whether he wanted me to play NSW Cup or 20s, and he told me it wouldn’t have really changed what happened next year going forward.”I played 90 per cent of the year in the NYC and I felt I owed it to my teammates to try to get them to that grand final.”Mary talks to me all the time. He gives me lots of feedback. I’m pretty confident that he is going to give me a shot next year.”I’m hoping next year is going to be a big year for me. It really depends on what Mary and Josh Dugan want to do, because he’s really the one person in front of me. He’s a world-class player so it’s really up to Mary and what he wants.”The Penshurst RSL junior is listed at just 80kg – 22kg lighter than Dugan – but doesn’t think his weight would hold him back from making his NRL debut.Where Dugan uses his size to get his side on the front foot, Dufty uses his incredible speed and sleight of hand to trouble opposition defences.”I’m not the biggest guy running around but I find it fun just running around people,” he said.”Mary’s not too fussed about my weight because I just use speed and my skills, but the dietician wants me to put on a few more kilos just to be safe.”Should Dufty bulk up in the off-season, the 20-year-old’s utility value would soar.”Growing up I played in the halves so I wouldn’t mind if Mary gave me a shot wherever and I’d take it with both hands,” he said. “It would mean the world because growing up as a kid – especially in the St George area – you want to make that debut just to make family and friends proud.”last_img read more

SPORT-OPEN 2 LAST

first_imgDjokovic has a 23-2 career stranglehold on Berdych who Djokovic has a 23-2 career stranglehold on Berdych who will be playing in his third Roland Garros quarter-final. It will be the top seeds 28th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final and 36th in all. Djokovic also crossed the $100 million prize money barrier on Wednesday. He started the tournament with $99,673,404 and the 294,000 euros ($328,303) he earned by beating Bautista Agut took him past the landmark figure. Djokovic, seeking a first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, was 4-1 ahead of Bautista Agut in the third set Tuesday when play was halted. But the Serb quickly wrapped up the next two games Wednesday and despite falling a break down to trail 2-4 in the fourth, he stormed back to claim victory on a second match point. “With my coaching team, we had some tough talks on Tuesday night,” said Djokovic, who had struggled in the heavy conditions when he had uncharacteristically dropped serve five times. “But I came back with more intensity even though it was a tough mental and physical battle.” Austrias Dominic Thiem advanced to his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-1, 6-4 win over Spains Marcel Granollers. Granollers had made the last 16 without hitting a ball when nine-time champion Rafael Nadal withdrew with a wrist injury last week. Rain halted play at one set apiece on Tuesday, but 13th seed Thiem quickly found his groove on Wednesday to race through the third set before nailing down a place in the last eight. The 22-year-old will next meet Belgian 12th seed David Goffin who saw off Latvias Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in another match held over from Tuesday. “We practise a lot together and hes also a very nice guy,” said Thiem, who trails Goffin 4-2 including a loss at the Australian Open this year. Goffin is only the second Belgian man to reach the last eight in Paris. AFP KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

CDBG Untouched in Federal Spending Bill Reprieve for Communities and Americas Mayors

first_imgShare158TweetShare5Email163 Shares“Department of Housing and Urban Development Seal” Modified by DonkeyHotey.May 1, 2017; Syracuse Post-StandardThe new federal spending agreement that’s due to be voted on by Friday of this week shows no cuts to the $3 billion budget for Community Development Block Grants. More than 1200 localities and community groups depend upon the CDBG program, which is overseen by HUD and has been a mainstay of community funding since 1974, when Gerald Ford created it as a source of flexible funding to be devoted in a tailored way to local community development needs.The program requires local citizen participation in the disbursal of the money and requires that it benefit low- and moderate-income residents. But the very flexibility that has made it something of a godsend to communities is exactly what President Trump appeared to object to in his proposed budget, where he charged that CDBG “is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results.” The George W. Bush administration rated the program as “ineffective” in its “ExpectMore.gov” accountability project, and HUD officials have acknowledged that few evaluative studies have been done of CDBG. However, many disagree with these assessments, including a sampling of the country’s mayors surveyed by Politico.On April 3rd, the U.S. Conference of Mayors sent a letter to Congress that reads, in part:Since FY 2005, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has collected accomplishment data for the CDBG program. The data highlight the program’s flexibility to design and implement strategies tailored to meet local needs and priorities. It has provided funds in every state, including housing investments, public infrastructure improvements, and economic development, while also providing public services, including services for seniors, youth, the disabled, and employment training. Despite being a key tool for aiding our communities, the CDBG program, like many programs, has taken a share of deep cuts in recent years, falling substantially—by nearly $1.4 billion since FY2001. While the program helps more than 1,200 cities, counties, states, and rural areas meet the needs of low and moderate-income people and communities, funding cuts have severely weakened the ability of grantees to revitalize their communities and respond to local need. We share your commitment to the most effective use of taxpayer dollars and believe that these grants have proven highly effective. Based on the data that grantees have reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over the past nine years (FY2005–FY2016), CDBG has:Helped over 1.3 million low- and moderate-income persons through single-family, owner-occupied rehabilitation, homeownership assistance, energy-efficient improvements, and lead-based abatement, among other activities;Created or retained 387,109 jobs for low- and moderate-income people through a variety of economic development activities;Benefited over 42 million low- and moderate-income persons through public improvements including senior centers, child care centers, and centers for people with disabilities;Benefited over 133 million low- and moderate-income persons through public services such as employment training, meals and other services to the elderly, services for abused and neglected children, assistance to local food banks, and other services;Helped Seniors Live Independently. CDBG funds are used to rehabilitate the homes of low- and moderate-income elderly persons to allow them to age in place, thereby, avoiding costly assisted living and nursing home care. CDBG provides resources to Meals on Wheels and other local food programs to ensure our low- and moderate-income seniors receive daily nourishment and contact. Further, CDBG funds are used to build community centers to allow seniors to receive health and recreational services to stay engaged and healthy;Strengthened Families and Communities through Homeownership. CDBG funds are used to assist creditworthy, working for families with down payment and closing cost assistance to purchase a home. Homeownership stabilizes neighborhoods, allows families to build assets, and adds to the local tax base;Created Safer Communities. Local communities use CDBG to work with local police departments and neighborhood leaders to fight crime and make neighborhoods safer places to live and work by creating and expanding neighborhood watch groups, making safety improvements to homes and businesses, and encouraging local police sub-stations to move into high crime areas;Invested in Our Next Generation. Local communities use CDBG funds to provide afterschool programs to low-income children, summer jobs for low-income youth, and build recreation centers to provide a safe outlet for learning, sports and personal growth.Additionally, every $1.00 of CDBG leverages an additional $3.65 in non-CDBG funding.CDBG makes its way into the local economy through an extensive network of local organizations and remains a lifeline for families and communities. It is one federal program that touches the lives of nearly every American in some fashion.Of course, as we mention in today’s feature, these battles will likely need to be refought this summer and early fall as the fiscal year budget is developed.—Ruth McCambridgeCATEGORY:TAGS:Share158TweetShare5Email163 Shareslast_img read more