The changing face of Figueroa

first_imgThe Figueroa Corridor is made up of the area surrounding campus. Kelvin Kuo | Daily Trojan It’s hard not to miss the turquoise-clad officers riding bikes along Figueroa Street, or the signs promoting the Figueroa Corridor that dot lampposts around USC. But the Figueroa Corridor Partnership does a lot more for the community than students might realize. Established in 1998, the partnership — which includes the area between the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Flower Street and Vermont Avenue — aims to stimulate economic growth and make the Corridor attractive to businesses.According to Steve Gibson, executive director of the partnership, the goal of the non-profit group is to promote a positive environment for businesses and customers.“We want to provide clean and safe services, which are the basics for providing an enjoyable Corridor,” Gibson said.The partnership was started by former USC President Steven B. Sample and Darryl Holter, current chair of the partnership’s Board of Directors and the CEO of the Shammas Group, a business made up of several properties based south of Downtown. Both men were troubled by the Corridor’s conditions in 1998 — and understandably so.“The local Chevrolet dealer was told by General Motors to relocate to a better neighborhood, area museums saw attendance drop significantly [and] the University of Southern California had trouble recruiting students,” the partnership’s website reads.After the partnership formed, things turned around.The Corridor has attracted more than $2.2 billion in investments since the partnership’s inception, much of which has come in the form of new housing complexes and businesses, as well as a multi-million-dollar restoration of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum completed in 2003.“We have built new housing complexes such as University Gateway in order to stop profit-driven landowners from converting working-class properties into insufficient student housing,” Holter said.The increase in investments has also had a positive effect on property owners, said Margret Farnum, retired chief administrative officer of the Coliseum Commission.“Property owners have taken more pride in their buildings and have upgraded them, creating a new sense of life in the area,” Farnum said.Small businesses such as the Vagabond Inn have also profited from the partnership, according to Charles Valentino, the inn’s director of operations.“With the removal of graffiti and cleanliness of the sidewalks, you can now tell when you go in and out of the Corridor,” Valentino said.Also monitoring the Corridor’s streets are safety ambassadors, who patrol the area on bikes.David Roberts, USC’s associate director of local government relations, said these ambassadors have worked tirelessly to make the Corridor a crime-free area.“[They] are watchful eyes on the streets,” he said.Even business owners operating outside the boundaries of the Corridor said they appreciated having that extra set of eyes.“The bike control is a great calming influence on the Figueroa area,” said Patsy Carter, proprietor of The Inn at 657 located just outside the Corridor at 657 W. 23rd St.But the partnership hasn’t just been good for businesses. USC continues to be an integral part of the partnership and has benefitted greatly from the improved Corridor, Roberts said.“The partnership has changed the perspective of folks visiting USC and Exposition Boulevard and improved the quality of life in the Corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.The partnership has an annual budget of approximately $1 million. Members pay extra taxes based on their assessed property value, which is returned to the partnership from the government — extra money they say is well spent.“In my 42 years working for the Coliseum, I have never felt so safe walking around the Corridor,” Farnum said. “It feels almost like home.”last_img read more

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Carlos Carrasco injury update: Indians pitcher exits with sore knee, will have MRI

first_imgMORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNAn update on Carrasco’s status has yet to be announced.Indians announce Carlos Carrasco was removed due to left knee discomfort— Ryan Lewis (@ByRyanLewis) April 23, 2019Indians manager Terry Francona confirmed Carrasco was taken for a precautionary MRI with the hope that the injury isn’t serious. “He kind of bruised it. He fell on it, but he initially felt it in the back,” Francona said after the game, via ESPN. “So that’s why the medical people felt like let’s just rule everything out. Hopefully it’s just being precautionary, but we do want to get him checked out.”Carrasco, 32, struck out four batters before exiting the game and being replaced by reliever Neil Ramirez.The 2017 AL wins leader is 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA this season. Carlos Carrasco could be in jeopardy of missing some playing time.The Indians pitcher was pulled from Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Marlins after four innings with what the team called left knee discomfort.last_img read more

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College football’s toughest places to play for 2019, from Death Valley (again) to the Horseshoe

first_imgMORE: College sports’ best football/basketball coaching duosThe truth is it’s a subjective question with more than one good answer. Sporting News, using stats from TeamRankings.com, looked at some of the toughest places to play in 2019, and we have several different categories to pick from.A closer look:Overall: Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama) By every metric, it’s just hard to win there. Alabama is 59-4 at home since 2010 and hasn’t lost a home game since 2015, against Ole Miss. There’s a reason why Alabama coach Nick Saban admonishes students who don’t stay for games: He wants to make it even tougher for opponents to win. The Tide were one of 17 FBS teams to go undefeated at home last season, and they did it by winning by an average of 33 points per game. Alabama beat Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn by an average of 25.7 points per game.Last two years: Samford Stadium (Georgia)  The Bulldogs have not lost a home game the last two seasons, though it could be argued they haven’t faced that big a test. In fact, Mississippi State is the only ranked team that has faced Georgia at home. That will be tested this year with a schedule that includes visits from Notre Dame, South Carolina and Texas A&M.Last four years: Memorial Stadium (Clemson)  Clemson has all the same metrics as Alabama the last four years. The Tigers have an identical 27-1 record at home under Dabo Swinney, and a 5-0 record against ranked teams with nonconference victories against Notre Dame and Auburn. Texas A&M will be the next big visitor this season. The pageantry by Howard’s Rock before games hasn’t lost its charm.Since 2010: Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)  The Buckeyes have an FBS-best 60 wins at home since 2010, and that comes with just five losses. Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma is the only team to walk into The Shoe and win the last two seasons. Urban Meyer lost one Big Ten game at home since 2012 — a shocking upset against Michigan State in 2015. These are the standards first-year coach Ryan Day will have to uphold.Last 15 years: Albertsons Stadium (Boise State)  When the Broncos say they don’t lose on “The Blue,” they mean it. Boise State is 89-8 at home over the last 15 seasons, and they have lost just five home games under coach Bryan Harsin. They lead FBS football with a 91.8 win percentage in that timeframe.MORE: College football’s best programs this decadeAs Power 5 home favorite: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Kansas State)Three Power 5 schools have one home loss as the favored team the last five years. You already knew Alabama and Clemson. You might not have known about Kansas State. Imagine how first-year coach Chris Klieman can use that to his advantage once the Wildcats are rolling again.As Group of 5 home favorite: Maverik Stadium (Utah State)The Aggies are 21-0 at home as a home favorite the last five years, but it will be interesting to monitor how that changes with the coaching change from Matt Wells to Gary Andersen.As Power 5 home underdog: Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona State)It’s all about that heat. The Sun Devils have an 8-6 record as the underdog at home the last five years; tied for the most wins among Power 5 schools with Virginia (8-9). Herm Edwards will continue to build on that.As Group of 5 home underdog: Falcon Stadium (Air Force)Playing against an Academy School is tough. Playing against that school in their house when they are an underdog isn’t any easier. The Falcons are 6-2 as a home underdog since 2014.MORE: SN’s prediction for Playoff, bowl gamesConference game: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Oklahoma)It’s the same answer as last year. Oklahoma has lost just one Big 12 game at home the last four seasons — against Iowa State in 2017 — and that includes a 5-0 record against ranked teams. Texas never visits Norman due to the neutral site nature of that rivalry, but every other Big 12 team has. Not one of them has come away from unscathed.At night, Part I: Tiger Stadium (LSU)  The stands are always shaking when LSU plays at home at night, even if the last big game was a 29-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama. Still, the reputation alone for an unmatched atmosphere keeps the Tigers on this list.  At night, Part II: Beaver Stadium (Penn State)  You can’t mention Tiger Stadium at Night and not have a sidebar about the “White Out” at Penn State, though the last one featured a heart-breaking loss against Ohio State. There aren’t many better settings in college football.One Power 5 to watch in 2019: Michigan Stadium (Michigan)  The Wolverines have the sixth-best record among Power 5 schools at home, boasting 24-4 record since Jim Harbaugh took over in 2015. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and Oklahoma — all schools mentioned above — are the only ones that have been better in that stretch. The problem is those four losses came two times each to Michigan State and Ohio State. The Spartans, Buckeyes and Notre Dame all visit the Big House this year. It’s a big home schedule for Michigan.One Group of 5 to watch in 2019: Spectrum Stadium (UCF)UAB is the only other Group of 5 school that is undefeated at home the last two seasons, but the Knights have got a lot more publicity. UCF is 15-0 at home as part of a two-year unbeaten streak in the regular season. They will put that on the line against Stanford, Houston and South Florida this season. MORE: Ranking college football coaches 1-130 for 2019 seasonUnder 80K: Husky Stadium (Washington) Washington is 19-1 the last three seasons and has re-established its Pac-12 power. With that, the reputation for going to Husky Stadium will continue to increase. Chris Petersen did the same thing at Boise State.Between 80-100K: Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn) The configuration puts fans at eye level with the players, and despite home losses to LSU and Tennessee last year we’re sticking with this answer. Auburn is 4-1 against ranked teams at home the last two years, including wins against Alabama and Georgia. The Tide and Bulldogs visit Jordan-Hare in November. What’s the toughest venue in college football? That’s a question that’s almost impossible to put a true measurement on. You can go by the wins and losses. You can go by the size of the stadium. You can go by the atmosphere or by time of day (or in most cases, time of night).last_img read more

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