Chittenden Stockholders Approve Merger with People’s United BURLINGTON, Vt.–Nov. 28, 2007–Chittenden Corporation (NYSE: CHZ) announced today that Chittenden stockholders voted to approve the Agreement and Plan of Merger providing for the acquisition of Chittenden by People’s United Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq: PBCT) at Chittenden’s special meeting of stockholders held on November 28, 2007. The number of shares of Chittenden common stock voting to approve the merger agreement represented approximately 97% of the shares voted and 74% of the total number of outstanding shares. The proposed merger is expected to close on or about January 1, 2008, following the satisfaction or waiver of all of the conditions set forth in the merger agreement, including the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.People’s United Financial, Inc, of Bridgeport, CT, the holding company for People’s United Bank, announced June 27, 2007, a definitive agreement to acquire Chittenden Corporation, based in Burlington, in a stock and cash transaction valued at $1.9 billion. Consummation of the agreement was subject to the approval of the shareholders of Chittenden, as well as various regulatory agencies. People’s United previously announced that December 24, 2007 has been set as the deadline for merger consideration elections in connection with the pending merger. Chittenden stockholders wishing to make an election regarding the consideration they would prefer to receive for their Chittenden shares must deliver to Mellon Investor Services LLC, the exchange agent, properly completed Election Forms and Letters of Transmittal, together with their stock certificates or properly completed notices of guaranteed delivery, by 5:00 P.M., New York City time, on Monday, December 24, 2007. Election Forms and Letters of Transmittal were mailed to Chittenden stockholders earlier this week. Additional copies of such materials may be obtained by contacting Mellon Investor Services LLC, the information agent, at 1-877-251-3508 (within the U.S.) or 1-201-680-6805 (outside the U.S.). This press release contains statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Chittenden intends for these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this statement for purposes of complying with these safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans and expectations, which are subject to a number of risk factors and uncertainties that could cause future results to differ materially from historical performance or future expectations. These differences may be the result of various factors, including, amongothers: (1) failure of the parties to satisfy the closing conditions in the merger agreement in a timely manner or at all; (2) failure to obtain governmental approvals of the merger, or imposition of adverse regulatory conditions in connection with such approvals; (3) disruptions to the parties’ businesses as a result of the announcement and pendency of the merger; and (4) costs or difficulties related to the integration of the businesses following the merger. For further information on these risk factors and uncertainties, please see Chittenden’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Chittenden’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006. Chittenden undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or other changes. Additional Information about the Merger and Where to Find It In connection with the proposed acquisition of Chittenden by People’s United, People’s United has filed a registration statement on Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission containing a proxy statement/prospectus dated October 19, 2007, which has been mailed to Chittenden stockholders. Investors are urged to read these materials, and any other documents filed by People’s United or Chittenden with the SEC, because they contain or will contain important information about People’s United, Chittenden and the merger. The proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials, and any other documents filed by People’s United with the SEC, may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov(link is external). In addition, investors may obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Chittenden by directing a written request to Chittenden Corporation, 2 Burlington Square, Burlington, Vermont 05402-0820,Attention: General Counsel. Chittenden is a bank holding company headquartered in Burlington, Vermont. Through its subsidiary banks(1), Chittenden offers a broad range of financial products and services to customers throughout Northern New England, Massachusetts and Connecticut, including deposit accounts and services; commercial and consumer loans; insurance; and investment and trust services to businesses, individuals, and the public sector. Chittenden’s news releases, including earnings announcements, are available on its website at www.chittendencorp.com(link is external). (1) Chittenden’s subsidiaries are Chittenden Trust Company, The Bank of Western Massachusetts, Flagship Bank and Trust Company, Maine Bank & Trust Company, Ocean Bank and Merrill Merchants Bank. Chittenden Trust Company also operates under the names Chittenden Bank, Chittenden Services Group, Chittenden Mortgage Services and Chittenden Commercial Finance, and it owns Chittenden Insurance Group, LLC and Chittenden Securities, LLC. –30–
THE ROOKIELINDSEA LUMPKINThe 14-year-old Georgia native began skiing at two, snowboarding at three, and competing at six. Lumpkin has traveled all around the globe and competed in countless competitions–most recently placing first in her division during 2011 USASA National Championships in Slopestyle and Halfpipe.Age: 14Food: Domino’s deep-dish cheese pizza. I’m a vegetarian.Occupation: School, snowboarding, and skateboarding are my jobs.Base camp: I recently moved out to Breckenridge, Colo., to train.What she does: I snowboard. I [ride] halfpipe, boardercross, and slopestyle. Halfpipe is my least favorite but it’s still fun. Slope is definitely my favorite because there is nothing like flying through the air off of a massive jump.Aspirations: I want to make a difference in the world. I can see myself doing humanitarian work and some environmental stuff as well. I love the world.Passion on the mountain: If I’m on my board, I’m lovin’ it McDonald’s style all the way.Passion off the mountain: Skateboarding, being with friends, and boys of course.Southeast favorites: I learned how to ride at Beech Mountain in North Carolina when I was 4. Beech was always fun.Looking forward: I’m super excited to go to Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Traveling is one of the best parts of winter.Life experience to remember: I almost fell off a 25-foot cliff into a tree at Vail. That was insanely scary.Heroes: I would say for snowboarders, Travis Rice and Jamie Anderson. They are both very good at what they do. Otherwise, I would say Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie, and John Lennon. All of those people were/are activists and strive to make a difference.Music: Lately, I’ve been getting super into alternative stuff by Never Shout Never and Paradise Fears. Their stuff is upbeat and really fun to dance to and get pumped.On being young: I don’t want to grow up. I love being a kid. You learn so much and living my life is a blast. I do a lot of crazy stuff on an hourly basis. I like to joke around and just be crazy. I am very spastic and I don’t really care what other people think of me and I think that being myself is a pretty insane job. I also make really weird and random noises at awkward times.Self-description: My friends call me Lord Lumperton.THE ADVENTURERSKIP BROWNPhotographer Skip Brown lives his life on the edge—of a cliff, wave, or mogul. As a freelance photographer for National Geographic, Outside Magazine, his job has become one long list of adventures, including skate-skiing and snow-kiting in the winter.Age: 54Occupation: Freelance photographer and writer and team rider/rep for Uli Stand Up Paddle Boards.Base camp: Canaan Valley, West Virginia.What he does: Backcountry snowboarding, both regular and split boards. Nordic skate skiing and snowboard snow kiting.Aspirations: To stay in top physical shape so I can grow old with my wife and kids and recreate with them well into my 90’s. Make art. Make music. Be a better person.Passion on the mountain: Riding backcountry powder on either snowboard or skis. Snow-kiting in perfect conditions. Crust skating the backcountry.Passion off the mountain: Stand-up paddle boarding, kite-boarding, hang-gliding, mountain-biking, white-water kayaking, music, photography.Southeast favorites: Skate Skiing at Whitegrass or snowboarding the Canaan backcountry.The meaning of winter: Playing on boards in snow. Ice-skating on the canal with my kids. Sledding in my backyard. Firing up the wood stove.A backward glance: Snow-kiting in rare, near-perfect conditions the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. Backcountry skate skiing Dolly Sods.Looking forward: More snow-kite exploratory trips to the remote high meadows of West Virginia.Life experience to remember: I was ripped out of my boat during super high Potomac flood waters and stuffed under an eddy full of logs. I barely clawed my way up through the debris pile to breathe and survived. I was also part of the first successful descent of the Lower Congo River running at 1.5 million cfs (cubic feet/second). We were then held at gunpoint by bandits.Hero: No heroes. There are artists, musicians and athletes and teachers I admire. Plus my Mom and Dad.Music: Music plays a big part in my skating and riding. Most played lately list includes Nickel Creek, Richard Thompson, Sonny Rollins, Ben Harper, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.Self-description: My friends have a saying:”Skip happens.”THE BUSINESSMANANDREW WALKERThere is a hidden wildman inside of every briefcase-toting entrepreneur, especially Andrew Walker. As an outdoor retail manager at West Virginia’s Pathfinder and organizer of Morgantown’s Motown Throwdown, Walker makes sure that work and play don’t stray too far apart.Age: 28Occupation: store manager/event organizerWhat he does: Snowboarder. Totally. All the way. I’m not 100 percent park. I basically like riding the entire mountain, and finding fun and creative things to play around on.I would much rather be riding than hiking the park to ride some rail. To me, that’s not 100 percent what snowboarding is about. Snowboarding to me is about going out with your friends, trying new things, goofing off, and riding the woods and using the landscape as your playground.Aspirations: To be successful in whatever I’m doing and to take care of people while I’m doing it.Passion off the mountain: I really love music. I also like hiking, mountain biking, or fishing, backpacking—any excuse to be out in the woods, Basically my life revolves around snowboarding in the wintertime and cycling in the summertime.Southeast favorites: I like Snowshoe a lot–Cupp Run and Shay’s Revenge. Those are probably my two favorite runs in the Southeast. But Seven Springs is my favorite place to ride right now.A backward glance: The Motown Throwdown was definitely a big thing for me last year. We got Mixmaster Mike to come out last year. That was something I worked on for four months solid, and then it finally happened. So that was a big dream for me, to hang out with one of The Beastie Boys whom I grew up listening to.Looking Forward: A British Columbia and Colorado heli-ski/snowcat trip, riding nipple-deep powder with three of my friends—and a guide, so I don’t have to worry about sh*t, you know?Hero: Todd Richards.Self-description: Andrew the Kid. I get down to business when I have to, but business isn’t everything in this world.THE SALESMANDAVID LIPPUCCIDavid Lippucci is a salesman, father, golfer, and one of the Southeast’s best ski racers. During the 2011 Crescent Cup, David Lippucci proved that he was the fastest man on the mountain in combined race times.Age: 48Occupation: sales managerWhat he does: Alpine ski racing as opposed to Nordic. I train and compete in slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalomBase camp: Sugar Mountain. They usually have the best snow. The mountain knows ski racing.Aspirations: Win my age group at the Masters Nationals; podium finish at the NASTAR finals.Passion on the mountain: Skiing really big, fast and fun, in control top to bottom.Passion off the mountain: Teaching golf.Southeast favorites: Cupp Run at Snowshoe, W.Va. There is a sick GS race every February, top to bottom. Almost a two-minute big boy run.The meaning of winter: Seeing friends from other parts of the country on the slopes and après-ski. It’s also a chance to show what I have accomplished off-season on the snow. The goal is to improve year after year.Inspiration to race: There was a pretty woman who signed up with me to take race lessons.A backward glance: Out of 120 racers, I compiled the least amount of time accumulative over two days of competition for two slalom, and two runs of giant slalom at Snowshoe this past March. I won a big trophy and a pair of new Dynastar race skis.Looking forward: I will show Warren Miller’s Like There’s No Tomorrow at the Carousel Cinemas in Greensboro December 13. Plus, I’m looking forward to race camp at Copper in November.Life experience to remember: In my second year of racing (I’ve been at it about 18 years now), I put my hand through a panel gate on a dual course, ripped both gates out of the snow and finished the course with the entire assembly wrapped around my body. The race organizer gave me a ski bag.Heroes: Anyone in the U.S. Military. Selfless volunteers.Music: Rock and roll from the 70s and 80s. I hate to say it, but any disco beat that keeps my butt movin’ and groovin’.Self description: Big DieselTHE FAMILY MANCHIP CHASEChip Chase has set the bar for backcountry Nordic skiing in the Southern Appalachians. Whitegrass Resort in Tucker County, W.Va., is one of the oldest and best cross-country ski areas in the country.Age: 58Occupation: Snow farmer while operating White Grass; summer farmer of 180 head of cattle. Also house remodeler, chimney sweep, and web master. Mostly a grandfather, father, and husband.Base camp: Canaan ValleyWhat he does: I run WG and ski on medium weight soft-turny, easy-to-push Nordic gear that likes to get lost in local terrain.Aspirations: Enjoy the endless local simple joys of rural life while keeping the family healthy and strong.Passion on the mountain: In Nordic skiing to become one with balance and surrender to grace. Let the good ol’ body and skis do the work and hope the stars are lined up with your karma as you zip dangerously past solid objects in the forest.Passion off the mountain: Dance a lot and make sure my friends are invited to join us into another great wide-open adventure. Noticing the small little things that tickle your fancy and have the inclination to slow down and listen.Southeast favorites: I am still finding new areas to ski and expand our glades and trails year after year here in the Cabin Mountains. Flying down the trees with my three boys is a good way to start the season.The meaning of winter: Lots of exercise and work, mostly making sure everyone else gets outside. Pure, cold, crisp beauty.A backward glance: Skiing lightweight gear with all my Colorado buddies and finding a new tree-turning glade where we had many laughs and a few hard spills.Looking forward: Having a chance to put together the course and then race the 25K Mountain State Marathon in February, and to race the American Birkie once again and soak up all those easy goin’ Midwestern Nordic vibes.Life experience to remember: Skiing in the moonlight late at night in the super-cold fresh snow with friends. Afterwards, a sauna, a quick cooldown in the snow drifts, and then a campfire with guitars, harmonica, and voice. Lots of snacks and moonshine.Music: I have a huge selection of classic hip stuff from the late 60s and early 70s that I grew up with. I mostly listen to—and I am an active member of —WYEP out of Pittsburgh, an independent NPR station playing daily soup to nuts, and on the mellow side, tons of melodic young Beatles-sounding [tracks] and much more. My iPod takes over a year to hear everything 24/7.Self description: Stacy Kay calls me Manic/Manic… usually always up.THE VETERANBILL WITZEMANNBill Witzemann is that hard-working guy who leaves you feeling like you’ve known him all your life after five minutes of conversation. He’s a bit of a character, a family man, and a longtime cross-country skier who picked up downhill skis at age 40, leading to his discovery of telemark skiing.Age: I turned 63 years young this past summer.Occupation: Last year I retired as a stone masonry contractor after 35 years in business. I still run and maintain a backhoe and dump truck.Base Camp: We live outside of Elkins, W.Va., and spend an awful lot of time in the Canaan Valley area.What you do: I use the telemark skis and technique. I ski on a set of K2 World Piste tele-skis for resort and lift accessible off-piste adventures. And for the backcountry, Karhu 10th Mountain skis.Aspirations: To enjoy life.Passion on the mountain: In the winter, skiing fresh powder and taking in all that surrounds me.Passion off the mountain: Living in the mountains, you’re never really off the mountain. It’s a way of life–but I do really enjoy snorkeling in the local river.Southeast favorites: We love to ski at Canaan and Whitegrass, which are connected through a series of trails. With your backcountry gear on, you can ride the lift up at Canaan or you can ski up from Whitegrass and take the cross-country trail to Weiss Knob, and if you feel adventurous you can head on out to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. Or you can head to Bald Knob with an incredible view of the Canaan Valley and then follow groomed or non-groomed cross-country trails down into Whitegrass. The Whitegrass Cafe is second to none and features the best homemade soups, pitas, and cookies, and they have locally brewed beer.The meaning of winter: Beautiful snowfalls, burning wood, cold nights, burning wood, plowing snow, burning wood, skiing powder, snowy roads–when the roads are bad, the skiing is great! Did I mention burning wood?Why he skis: I guess I’m a recreational skier and ski for the sheer pleasure of being out there, being able to take it all in, the scenery, the conditions, the camaraderie, the exercise, the food, and the experience. Living in the moment.A backward glance: We were visiting our daughter in Salt Lake City last February and caught a 38” dump at Alta. I was literally in over my head.Looking forward: We are looking at a trip to Salt Lake and possibly an adventure up to Big Sky in Montana. But if the snowfall is good here at home with minimal warm-ups, there really is no reason to go anywhere else.Life experience to remember: I did 19 months in the Army. I got out five months early coming back from Vietnam.Hero: My Dad. He encouraged me and my brother and sister to be independent, to spread our wings, to be whatever we wanted to be and to do it well. He taught us a work ethic that has served all of us well.Music: Blues music. At this moment Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are sounding pretty good. I don’t do the music while I’m skiing.Self-description: Mr. Fixit. From fun-loving freestyle snowboarders to white-knuckled downhill racers, here are eight Southern snowsports aficionados to inspire you this winter.THE HUMORISTJEREMY CLINETraveling to shred mountains since age 17, Jeremy Cline has been living his dream for years. The Mid-Atlantic snowboard company Monument Snowboards scooped up Cline in 2004 after his five-year run with Ride snowboards. Cline remains humorously optimistic despite a lifelong struggle with profound deafness.Age: 34Occupation: Snowboarder/digger/toe picker.Base camp: I didn’t travel as much as I used to in the past three years, so I mostly ride at the Massanutten terrain park. I also commute to Wintergreen twice a week.What he does: I just snowboard. No training or workout. I just skateboard and surf to get ready for winters. Sometimes my personal photographer shows up and shoots with me. I sometimes go on overseas shred trips. I also work in terrain parks almost every winter.Passion on the mountain: Snowboarding and building terrain parks.Passion off the mountain: Skateboarding, surfing, hiking, and swimming holes.Southeast Coast favorites: Timberline in West Virginia. You can find yourself going fast through trees in two feet of deep powder and no one is around but your friends. Perfect.The meaning of winter: Adventures, snowboarding, more coffee, fireplaces, hoodies, and hat beanies.A backward glance: Dave Tran and I went snowboarding in Japan for the first time. Amazing culture and big beautiful island with a lot of rich history.Looking forward: Filming with Danny Murawinski all over the Southeast, even in Alabama.Life experience to remember: Doing gator flips off a 40-foot tower into a lake.On competition: I made it to the finals of Vans Triple Crown Big Air in Tahoe in 2001 without warm-up runs because I didn’t know I was supposed to have a helmet on. So I never made it to the warm-up runs. And guess what? When I got to the top of the course, all of a sudden, I was called to drop in first as the contest started. That was my first pro contest as well as my last one. I was never into contests.Hero: My mother. The Rockingham County school board refused to let me into their public schools and wanted me to attend Virginia School for Deaf and Blind in Staunton; however, my mother wanted me to get the same education as everyone else. So she took them to court and won. I was the first deaf kid to have an interpreter in their public schools. Now there are a bunch of deaf people in their schools. I wouldn’t have been where I am right now without my strong-willed mother.Self-description: Deafjam.THE COMPETITORJAKE LAROEJake LaRoe is an animal. Not only is it in his blood to compete, it’s in his essence of being. Joining NASTAR at the age of nine, the Crescent Ski Council at 10, and the United States Ski Association at 13 (eventually earning the title second fastest 18-and-under skier in the Southeastern U.S.), LaRoe now focuses most of his energy at the collegiate level competing for North Carolina State University.Age: 19Occupation: Student at North Carolina State University.Base Camp: Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk, NCWhat he does: As soon as the snow hits the slopes, I’m driving up to Boone. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. and I am on the chairlift at 8 a.m. I sleep more during school nights than ski nights.What you ride: I ride Rossignol race stock skis. 165 cm for slalom, 182 cm for Giant Slalom.Aspirations: I want to be a lawyer.Passion on the mountain: Ski as fast as I can before ski patrol yells at me. Catch as much air as possible. Improve my confidence in all conditions so I can perform on race day. Skiing in the rain; it may not seem like a good idea but that’s exactly why it is: no crowds, no lines.Passion off the mountain: I love playing sports. I was a varsity football and baseball player in high school. I am an avid weightlifter and am obsessed with staying physically fit. I enjoy keeping up with politics and love a good old Constitutional discussion.The meaning of winter: Skating on the pond outside our cabin, sledding down my driveway, shoveling the steps to our porch and cutting my fingers while sharpening my skis. Winter means sitting in class on a Monday, tapping my pencil because I’m so ready for Saturday’s race.Southeast favorites: My favorite run in the South East is “Tom Terrific” linked into “Sugar Slalom” at Sugar Mountain. There’s a rock on the left side of Tom Terrific that when covered with snow, provides some very serious airtime. At this point in the run I travel close to 45-50 mph. I make a hard right over to Sugar Slalom and really focus on “laying it over,” helping to improve my technique. This run usually has very few people on it so I’m able to ski really fast.A backward glance: Winning the Dick Trundy Memorial Race at Sugar Mountain. I really only had one guy to beat that day: Erich Schmidinger. He is an employee of Sugar Mountain and he is a former US Ski Team member: he’s damn good. I’ve been trying to beat him forever and I finally did. The trophy is mine—if only for a year.Heroes: My Dad is my hero. Just in skiing alone, the amount of time and money he’s sacrificed to get me to the level I’m at is awesome. We are really close and I trust his opinion about skiing, life, and anything in between before anyone else’s.Why you race: I guess I keep racing, even after all of the terribly cold and rainy days because the feeling I get when I win is the best. I wasn’t one of the better kids when I started racing and that killed me. That fire still burns in me now, even though I’ve claimed one of the top spots in the region.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Once again, we’ve had another mass shooting in a school and 17 more children and teachers are dead. So what are our lawmakers doing to stop these killings?Well, the gutless Republican-controlled Congress tells us that this isn’t the time to talk about gun control and that we should pray. Our heartless president tells us that this is a mental health issue. The greedy NRA wants to sell more guns by arming our teachers with pistols so they can protect children against assault rifle-wielding attackers. Brilliant. All of these people are true cowards.The courageous Americans are those families whose children were killed in Parkland. Those courageous parents will have to go into their lost child’s bedroom and pick out the clothing that they will dress their child in for his or her funeral. Instead of a moment of prayer, let’s have our lawmakers close their eyes for two minutes and picture having to perform that task for one of their own children or grandchildren.Do you think that will help motivate them to take action? I doubt it. Politicians like Elise Stefanik and John Faso are so busy pocketing NRA campaign contributions that they can’t even find the courage to ban bump stocks.The school killings that happened in Parkland, Fla., can happen in Saratoga, Niskayuna, Schenectady or any other school in this country. How can we continue to stand by and watch our children die?Susan KarandyRobert KarandyBurnt HillsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?
2 Bevan Street, Aspley.The lowset brick home, which has a terracotta tiled roof, also has a deck out the back, where Mr Easton spends much of his time enjoying the views.The home is in a cul-de-sac and features timber floorboards under the carpet, a front porch/veranda, a single lockup garage and additional carport.With many older people moving out of the suburb, Mr Easton said the area was slowly changing. 2 Bevan Street, Aspley.Mr Easton had replaced the guttering and switchboards, however he said someone could redevelop the home into something special.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019The home has security grills and toughened glass windows.On an elevated 655sq m block in a prestigious pocket of Aspley, Mr Easton said the property was in a “sweet little corner”. 2 Bevan Street, Aspley.After 24 years, Geoffrey Easton is selling his three-bedroom, one-bathroom home. Mr Easton, an auto electrician, said he had “outgrown” the property.“I really need a change. I have bought a property at Carseldine,” he said.Mr Easton said the home at 2 Bevan St, Aspley was in its original condition. “Before I moved in, the kitchen and bathroom had been renovated,” he said.“I have maintained the house in its current form, but it does need a little bit of work.” 2 Bevan Street, Aspley.He hopes a family will buy his much loved home.Ray White — Chermside selling agent Cindy McGrath said the property was high on the ridge with a lovely outlook, and offered a rare corner allotment complete with a desirable Chartwell St frontage.Only 11km from Brisbane’s CBD, the home is close to private schools and shops. Public transport is within walking distance.
The ball rotates peculiarly — a product of the barrage of back-and-forth hits it’s endured. Both players transfix their eyes on the object in motion, calculating where the ball is going and what they are going to do with it next. Finally, with one sweeping blow, the ball is sent back over the net, clipping a corner of the table before it shoots off into the distance.Ph.D. student Amitabha Ghosh and sophomore Akhilesh Kajaria stand across from each other grinning, consumed only momentarily by their thoughts on the previous point’s result. A warm acknowledgement of the shot is given, the score is announced and play resumes as if it had never stopped.Intense focus · Former Indian national team member graduate student Subal Mehta is part of the team’s competitive squad, T-Cubed. – Amaresh Sundaram Kuppuswamy | Daily TrojanOn this night — just like any other practice evening — the two battle for every point in the match, focusing constantly on improving both their skills and techniques that will be needed come tournament time. While their focus is unwavering, they enjoy every minute of it.Ghosh and Kajaria are standing on the gym floor on the north end of USC’s PED building. The two competitors are ping pong players — members of the Ping Pong Posse, a table tennis club at USC that, despite its youth, has found continued success since its humble beginnings.Evolution of a teamIn 2002, then-USC students Adam Bobrow and Angad Singh formed a small ping pong club consisting of 10 members — the Ping Pong Posse. The club only had one table to practice on, which, in addition to all its other equipment, was paid for primarily by the club members themselves.Despite the club’s lack of equipment, it eventually grew and improved. The Ping Pong Posse started a competitive team, T-Cubed, which, behind Bobrow’s leadership, placed well in the tournaments it entered. With success came a steady increase in both numbers and national recognition.Then, in 2004, the team caught a break. The Ping Pong Posse caught the eye of table tennis company Killerspin, who was impressed enough with the team’s play and dynamic image to offer the club a sponsorship — making the Ping Pong Posse the only collegiate club in the nation to receive a corporate sponsorship.Now able to practice with proper equipment, T-Cubed made the national tournament three years in a row from 2005-2007, including a third-place finish in 2005.With the backing of Killerspin and the efforts of its members, the Ping Pong Posse has now grown to more than 50 active players, and more annual sign-ups than any club at USC.According to junior Charles Hu, president of the Ping Pong Posse, none of this was possible without Bobrow’s efforts and enthusiasm.“[Bobrow] is, without a doubt, the most passionate person about ping pong you will ever meet,” Hu said. “He treats [the club] like a job, and he gets on my ass when I’m lazy. He really made the club as big as it is today.”Bobrow, who graduated from USC in 2003 with a degree in theatre, has since found success in the entertainment industry, taking a role in the movie Ping Pong Playa as well as providing several video game voiceovers. He even starred in the YouTube sensation “Excessive Ping Pong Celebration,” created by the Ping Pong Posse, which has more than 10 million views.Hitting their strideThis season, T-Cubed has four varsity players on its roster: Ghosh and Kajaria, graduate student Subal Mehta and senior Mikhail Kazantsev.Kazantsev is a former member of the US men’s national team and champion at both the under-22 and under-18 levels. Mehta is a former India men’s national team member and 20-time champion of his region.As determined by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association, which scores players on a scale from 0 (novice) to more than 3,000 (world-class competitor), the two have rankings of 2,365 and 2,199, respectively. These rankings place them among the nation’s collegiate elite.The experience of the varsity team has translated into success for T-Cubed. The group recently swept the first leg of the Southern California regionals, defeating UCSD 4-0 and UCLA 3-1 to take first place. The second leg, held this spring, will determine which team from Southern California advances to the national tournament in Wisconsin in April.Additionally, T-Cubed hopes to send some of its members to the Associations of College Unions International tournament, where they can compete on an individual level.“I really hope to play in the national tournament next year,” Ghosh said. “I hope, as the Ping Pong Posse, we can really put our name out there.”Relishing the experienceDespite the dominance of the varsity team, the club’s members maintain that the focus of the Ping Pong Posse is on all its members.A large part of that experience is beyond simply playing ping pong, as members of the club recently stepped in as extras for the movies Balls of Fury and Ping Pong Playa, and even squared off against Jason Alexander and Lauren Conrad at celebrity tournaments.“I really want people to know that Ping Pong Posse isn’t just a regular ping pong club,” Hu said. “We do so much other stuff.”Another draw of the Ping Pong Posse is its diversity and range of talent. Regular members consist of undergraduate and graduate students of all rankings, international students, Ph.D. students, professors and even celebrities — Adoni Maropis, an actor on the show 24, practices with the Posse every Wednesday.“We have a really diverse [group],” Hu added. “It really sets us apart.”And considering all that it has accomplished in seven short years, you can rest assured that this is one posse that won’t cease to entertain.
Danny Rose scored a late winner as Tottenham came from behind to break down Swansea for a vital victory in their quest for a maiden Premier League title.Swansea came into this game after a 15-day break, while Spurs have clocked up 270 minutes of football since their stunning win at Manchester City. And Swansea demonstrated their freshness when they took an early lead at White Hart Lane through Alberto Paloschi, who finished well from close range after Leon Britton’s shot deflected into the Italian’s path. That jolted Spurs into action, but Heung-min Son and Eric Dier were both denied by the superb Lukasz Fabianski in the opposition goal. Spurs upped the tempo in the second half, with their relentless pressure when second half substitute Nacer Chadli diverted Kyle Walker’s low drive into the net, which stirred the home fans as their side looked for a winner.And the decisive goal came from an unlikely source – left-back Rose – who drilled a low shot through a crowd of bodies into the bottom corner after the visitors only half cleared a Spurs corner.The win is a vital one, particularly with rivals Arsenal losing at Old Trafford, and sees them cut Leicester’s lead at the top of the Premier League back down to two, while Mauricio Pochettino’s side pull three points clear of Arsenal ahead of next weekend’s north London derby.– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports
Intent on being a solution to the problem of systemic racism in society, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said he will join the growing list of NFL players who plan to kneel during the playing of the national anthem this season.Several players are planning to kneel amid protests in the U.S., and Murray will join that group. “Yeah, I’ll be kneeling,” the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year told reporters Wednesday during a Zoom conference. “I stand for what’s right, that’s the bottom line. I call it like I see it. I’ll definitely be taking a knee.”MORE: Trump says Kaepernick should get another shot if he can still playMurray also praised the swarm of peaceful protests around the country sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, calling them a step toward ending racial injustice and police brutality.”There is a lot of hate in this world, but at the same time, what’s happening and what we’re seeing right now, it’s huge,” he said. “I don’t condone rioting and stuff like that, but the peaceful protests, I think they’re great, they’re amazing. Whether it takes years, I feel like we’re getting there. At least we’re making a step towards it.””We’re all human, and we should all be treated equally.” pic.twitter.com/lK5YaBIapb— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) June 17, 2020As a high-profile black quarterback, Murray added that he believes he bears a responsibility to be more vocal on issues such as social justice and race relations than he was as a rookie.”If it’s wrong, I’m going to say it’s wrong. I feel like, personally, it’s on everybody to hold each other accountable, but more so from me,” he said.KAEPERNICK TIMELINE: How protests started a movement in the NFL”If you’ve got white friends that feel this certain type of way, don’t understand what’s going on, it’s on me to educate them as well as black, Hispanic, any other ethnicity. “We’re all human and I feel like we should all be treated equally. I don’t get the debate on why anyone shouldn’t be treated equally because of their skin color. It doesn’t make sense to me, but it is what it is right now and we’re trying to fix it.”Murray’s comments came on the same day the Cardinals announced they will make June 19 — the day slaves were officially declared free by the U.S. government following the end of the Civil War — a permanent holiday within the organization.The 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick is one of several Cardinals players, including longtime wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who have spoken out about Floyd’s killing and race relations in recent weeks. He is also the second starting quarterback to publicly state he will be kneeling during the anthem, joining the Browns’ Baker Mayfield, a close friend of Murray and a former college teammate at Oklahoma.