LANCASTER – Hoping to break ground early next year on a landmark retail and entertainment complex, city officials are scrambling to complete planning and environmental documents for the Amargosa Creek project by late summer. The goal is to set the stage for developers to create a signature center that will address calls by residents for more shopping and entertainment opportunities. Before that can happen, however, officials need to complete the specific plan, which guides the project’s development; an environmental impact report; and a financial analysis that will consider market viability and the cost of infrastructure improvements. City officials hope to complete the financial study in May, the EIR report in July and the specific plan in August. The documents will use as a starting point a design concept hammered out during a series of meetings with city officials and the public. The chosen concept features an east-west “Main Street” geared toward strolling shoppers that intersects with a north-south line of shops. The design concept features more than 775,000 square feet of shopping space, two possible locations for hotels, a main central plaza for community gatherings and a secondary plaza on the eastern end. The 150-acre project site is bounded roughly by Avenues K-8 and L and by Fifth and 10th streets west. The project area also includes about 40 acres for medical facilities. The earliest construction could begin is early 2008. City officials expect the shopping center to evolve over several years, much in the same way as the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A draft environmental report is scheduled for completion by April 20. “It’s a pretty ambitious schedule,” said Brian Ludicke, Lancaster’s director of community development. “We’ve committed to the stakeholders and the council to this time frame.” One of the first steps in the EIR process is to hold a scoping meeting, which is scheduled for 6 to 8 Thursday night at City Hall, 44933 Fern Ave. “The scoping meeting is an opportunity for public agencies as well as the public itself to give us the topics that they think need to be studied as part of this EIR project,” Ludicke said. The public will have opportunities to provide input on the project at various stages, said Anne Aldrich, the city’s communications manager. After the scoping meeting, the next two opportunities for public comment will be a study session for the Planning Commission on March 12 and with the release of the draft EIR.
11 Everyone has a vivid memory of their first World Cup and, as you can imagine, for footballers it tends to be even stronger.The superstars heading to Russia have dreamt about going to the finals for their entire lives.But what do they remember most from their childhood? FIFA.com asked a series of players to get find out. “I was 13 at the time [of France 1998] and I watched with my friends and family in Zadar. After every win, we just got happier and happier. At the same time, it was a great advert for Croatia – all the world finally knew about us. I remember I started dreaming about being able to reach that level one day. It was phenomenal.” 9. Heung-Min Son (South Korea and Tottenham Hotspur) 11 11 11 “My earliest World Cup memory? Freddy Rincon’s goal against Germany at Italy 1990. I must have been four years old. Everyone in Colombia celebrated it, so I have a fleeting memory of it. In fact, I think I recall more clearly all the subsequent times I saw that goal than the actual moment it was scored. The next World Cup wasn’t until 94, so we grew up seeing that goal over and over again.” “My first memory is the 1994 World Cup, which my father (Brazil’s Mazinho) won. I was only three and though I don’t remember the matches, I remember him coming home, the celebrations, and all the family being there. I remember it very clearly. I also remember the 2010 Final between Spain and the Netherlands, obviously, and Andres’s [Iniesta] goal. It’s the most important moment in the history of Spanish football. We were with the U-19s at the time. When Andres scored, there were fire extinguishers going off and oil and knives flying in the air. The TV ended up on the floor as well.” 11 12. Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Iran and AZ Alkmaar) 4. Paul Pogba (France and Manchester United) “I have a lot of good memories of 2002. I remember after the penalty shoot-out against Spain in the quarter-final, everyone was going crazy. We couldn’t believe it. Everyone was wearing red shirts in 2002, including myself! I can’t choose one moment from that World Cup. Every moment in 2002 was fantastic.” 11. Radamel Falcao (Colombia and Monaco) “My first memory is from 1994. Although I was two years old, I think my first memory was watching on TV and the goal Romario scored against Holland. I remember that Bebeto crosses, and he takes it first time, and it’s a ‘golazo’.” 3. Neymar (Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain) “I remember watching the World Cup in USA in 1994. It was an overwhelming feeling. That was the first time that I understood what football was – every move, the entire game. My best memories are of watching the game against Cameroon, when Oleg Salenko scored five and Russia won 6-1.” 11 10. Igor Akinfeev (Russia and CSKA Moscow) 11 “I remember France’s 3-0 final win over Brazil in 1998. I was really young, just six or seven, and I was at home watching the match with all the others. As soon as France won, we all went outside and climbed over the cars. There were horns sounding and we were all happy.”5. Gabriel Jesus (Brazil and Manchester City)“For the past three World Cups I have painted the streets (of hometown favela, Jardim Peri) to celebrate the competition – it’s almost an obligation for the community. Hopefully I will get the chance to play at the World Cup in Russia to repay all the joy it has brought me.” “The first World Cup I can remember actively watching was 2006. I was probably too small in 2002 but in 2006 it was here in Germany, and me and my family watched every bit of it. That German team excited the whole country, so every one of their games was a real highlight.” “I remember 2002 and Ronaldinho putting that free-kick into the top corner (against England in the quarter-finals). It still hurts me to this day! That was my earliest memory of a World Cup and since then it has always been a dream to go on and play in one.” 6. Julian Draxler (Germany and Paris Saint-Germain) 11 1. Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid) 11 Pintando a rua para a copa de 2014 ⚽️🙏🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/U5tjOATgNY— Gabriel Jesus (@gabrieljesus33) May 30, 2017 7. Javier Hernandez (Mexico and West Ham United) 2. Thiago Alcantara (Spain and Bayern Munich) 8. Harry Kane (England and Tottenham Hotspur) 11 11 “The first World Cup I remember is 1998. My biggest idol was playing there, Ronaldo. Because of the schedule of the matches, sometimes I had to finish my classes in school early and rush home to watch them.” “I have a strong memory of watching the 2006 World Cup at home with my family. As we were watching a game, my father turned to me and said, ‘This is my biggest dream – to see you one day playing wearing that shirt at a World Cup’. I was just a kid at the time; neither of us could have imagined I would do just that only eight years later. But his dream definitely became my dream.”
ZURICH — Sepp Blatter had a good day at the office on Monday, even if a prankster tried to spoil it by showering the FIFA president with fake dollar bills at a news conference.Nothing could spoil Blatter’s day after he outwitted some of his FIFA opponents to earn precious extra time as their president and enjoy more such days in 2016.Mastering FIFA politics yet again, amid calls to step down immediately, Blatter is set to stay atop world soccer for seven more months after FIFA agreed Monday on a Feb. 26 election to replace him.Blatter was in such a good and defiant mood that he quickly shrugged off a chaotic start to his first major public appearance since a stunning resignation statement last month.A British comedian who gatecrashed the news conference at FIFA’s headquarters threw the fake bills in the air after making a spoof statement about supporting North Korea to host the 2026 World Cup.The image of Blatter cowering under a spray of money was powerful amid ongoing American and Swiss federal investigations of FIFA corruption, yet he regained his poise.“I just called my late mother,” he quipped on returning to the room minutes later, “and she said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s just a lack of education.’”Still, it made for an uneasy start with international networks and FIFA’s own YouTube channel broadcasting the news conference live.“Where is my security?” Blatter had shouted.The interruption provided an awkward reminder of a far more serious incident for FIFA in May, when the arrest of soccer and sports marketing officials plunged the game’s ruling body into its deepest crisis.Jolted by the dual criminal investigations into bribery and money laundering, Blatter announced four days after being elected for a fifth term that he would leave FIFA.“It was not only the pressure of any authorities … it was also the pressure of political interference and also the pressure of you, media,” said Blatter, who is a target of the U.S. investigation. “I had to do something very special and I did it. In footballing terms, I kicked the ball out of the field to stop something.”FIFA’s executive committee decided the election date and Blatter ended weeks of uncertainty by insisting he would not perform one of his renowned about-turns by in fact being a candidate.“On the 26th of February FIFA will have a new president,” Blatter said. “I cannot be the new president because I am the old president.”The 79-year-old Blatter, who first joined FIFA 40 years ago, has held onto the most powerful job in world soccer since 1998.Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who lost to Blatter in May, had told The Associated Press earlier Monday: “President Blatter’s resignation cannot be dragged out any longer. He must leave now.”But while Blatter said he felt “regret” about the crises, he insisted he would not be “abandoning” the presidency until a successor is elected by the 209 member associations.The Feb. 26 date was a political victory for Blatter over European governing body UEFA and its supporters in other continents, who wanted a December ballot and thought they had a compromise agreement on Sunday for Jan. 15.Instead, Blatter and senior vice president Issa Hayatou held sway with a late tactic. They cited not clashing with the second-tier African Nations Championship — a tournament for little-known home-based players — hosted in Rwanda from Jan. 16-Feb. 7.Late-February has personal significance to Blatter. It will mark exactly 40 years since Blatter’s first major duty for FIFA — a development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that is featured in scenes from the much-derided $27 million movie flop ‘United Passions.’Earlier Monday, UEFA President Michel Platini had seemed ready to launch his election campaign as front-runner when his officials confirmed he has support to run from four of the six FIFA continents.Instead, there is an Oct. 26 deadline for would-be candidates to gain five nominations from FIFA’s 209 member associations.Prince Ali did not commit to a second campaign Monday, and only former Brazil great Zico and Liberia football federation president Musa Bility have expressed their intention to stand.“He loves the fact that UEFA is associated with football on a daily basis and the thousands of matches we organize,” Platini’s spokesman, Pedro Pinto, said outside FIFA headquarters. “FIFA is a more political organization and he is a man of football. He’s not a man of politics.”In a statement Platini welcomed the creation of a FIFA reforms task force — a second one after a 2012-13 version — which will reconsider introducing term limits, integrity checks for senior officials and pay details.Blatter declined repeatedly on Monday to reveal his salary, and insisted this and any other proposals must also apply to all 209 FIFA members who should vote on them in February.But Blatter did respond to calls from World Cup sponsor Coca-Cola and former FIFA advisers Transparency International to appoint an independent person to oversee possible changes to shape the damaged organization’s future.Still, the “eminent leader” requested by Coca-Cola will be chosen by Blatter, Platini and other confederation presidents to lead a panel made up of 10 appointees from within those continental bodies.There seemed little to attract a respected figure from outside the sport to oversee the next election and reforms of FIFA.Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general from Ghana, has been mentioned for the role.“The rumors linking Mr. Annan to the FIFA job are just that: rumors,” Annan’s foundation office told the AP, stressing that he is currently “fully committed” to other roles.Bility, the Liberian federation head, said he was “very disappointed” with the Feb. 26 election date.“It does not reflect the urgency of the situation,” he told the AP by telephone, adding he expected to get on the ballot. “I am very encouraged. I don’t see any new faces.”On Monday, Blatter remained the face of FIFA, insisting he wants to rebuild its reputation.Speaking in his fifth language of the news conference, the veteran Swiss said in German that he wanted to “say goodbye when you have realized something good.”GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports WritersROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writers TweetPinShare0 Shares