Super Zebra: Ocean City’s Bob McElwee

first_imgBob McElwee, now a full-time Ocean City resident, has Bob McElwee, now a full-time Ocean City resident, has been a referee in three Super Bowls.While everyone is glued to the tube watching Super Bowl 50, it’s a nice time to consider one of Ocean City’s strongest connections to the game: Bob McElwee.This year, the NFL is emphasizing the history of the big game, as Sunday’s edition will mark a half-century of Super Bowls. And though he never donned a helmet or shoulder pads, very few individuals embody that history more than McElwee, a year-round resident of OC.McElwee was an NFL official for 27 years and is the only man to referee three Super Bowls in three different decades: Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXVIII in 1993 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. He is one of only five refs to officiate three Super Bowls regardless of the decade.Each one of those games was special in their own way,” McElwee recalls. The first one pitted the Denver Broncos against the Washington Redskins. That is when Doug Williams, the first African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl, threw five consecutive touchdown passes. His second assignment was one of the Buffalo Bills’ four straight Super Bowl losses, this one to the Dallas Cowboys. “Buffalo was up at halftime but Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and that bunch were just too strong and took control of the second half.”His final appearance saw the St. Louis Rams earn a last-second win over the Tennessee Titans. That game was noted for the final Tennessee drive ending at the one-yard line as time expired.“I ran into (Tennessee coach) Jeff Fisher a few months later and he said ‘Bob I really screwed up.’ I asked him what he meant by that and he said ‘I was on the rules committee the year before and if I had convinced them to change the length of the field to 99 yards, we would have won the game.’”McElwee estimates he officiated more than 500 NFL contests over his career, including many playoff games. Before that he officiated college games and before that, South Jersey high school contests. A native of Camden, he played at Haddonfield High, where he was a three-sport letterman, and then at the Naval Academy. At Navy, he was a linebacker on the 1955 team that won the Sugar Bowl. But his biggest thrill in the sport may have been the very first NFL game he worked as a line judge.“Here I was, fresh out of the college ranks and my very first game was Oakland, coached by John Madden and featuring Jack Tatum and Kenny Stabler, against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris. That made quite an impression.”No interview with a retired NFL ref is complete without a discussion of replay.“Let me be clear,” Bob said. “I really wish they would scrap it. I refereed half my career with replay and half without. Today, there are plays that seem obvious, the coach throws the challenge flag and now the game is held up for 10 minutes. It used to be the league backed up the officials. A catch was a catch if we said it was. If we said the runner was down, he was down.”McElwee had such a good reputation for fairness; he was selected as ref for the television show “American Gladiators” and for ESPN’s “Battle of the Gridiron Stars.” He is active in charitable organizations and co-founded Renew, which provides inner city housing for the less fortunate.McElwee’s career spanned 1976 to 2003. His final game was the 2003 Pro Bowl. And though he witnessed many changes in the game, he still looks back fondly on his entire career.“When I think about game day, and heading out onto that field,” he said, “each and every one of the games I worked was special.”last_img read more

Researcher connects the dots in fin-to-limb evolution

first_img Research depicts its negative effects on fish skeletons The impact of ocean acidification Related Fish teeth mark periods of evolution About 400 million years ago, vertebrates first began to crawl from the primordial seas onto land. Last week, thanks to a cutting-edge mathematical-analysis technique, a global research team uncovered how a crucial stage in evolution made that advance possible. Published May 8 in Science Advances, the paper deciphers crucial information about how those sea-dwelling creatures’ fins became the specialized limbs that made life on dry land feasible.“All animals that have limbs with hands and feet and fingers and toes [that is, tetrapods] arose from animals that were fish with fins that lived in the water,” explained Stephanie E. Pierce, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and curator of vertebrate paleontology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ). “One of the big puzzles is, how did that happen?”In collaboration with lead authors Borja Esteve-Altava and John Hutchinson at London’s Royal Veterinary College, Pierce and her colleagues present new research that may explain how. Although paleontologists have accumulated plentiful fossil evidence of this particular evolutionary change, it was only when the team examined it via an innovative technique called anatomical network analysis (AnNA) that clear patterns emerged. AnNA, created in 2015 for biological and biomedical research, deals with structures of pairwise relations between objects. Based on graph theory, which essentially compares connections and relations between objects — in this case, the fossilized remains of fins and limb bones — a pattern emerged.As tetrapods evolved, limb structures became simpler and more modular. In other words, where fin bones tend to be widely interconnected in many directions, the bones in limbs tend to be linked end to end, or “in a string,” as Pierce put it. “So one bone is connected to the bone before it and the bone after it. Fingers show this perfectly.”However, Pierce added, “though we have this decrease in complexity in bone contacts, that doesn’t mean that the limbs themselves were not doing interesting things.”In particular, as would-be limbs became simpler, they also became more modular, with each limb developing what, in a human, would be an upper arm, a forearm, a hand, and fingers. This modularization may have allowed for increasing specialization. In humans, for example, it would explain the development of the opposable thumb, whereas a different specialization of the same modular unit — the fingers — in a bat evolved into the long, light bones of a wing.For creatures emerging from the relatively gravity-free environment of the water to a more varied and complex open-air landscape, such anatomical flexibility would be vital. “How the structure is put together probably allowed tetrapods, once they came out of the water and onto land, to adapt to all the new and unexplored terrestrial niches afforded to them,” said Pierce.The next step (pun intended) is to understand how those changes allowed land-based tetrapods to walk, a question Pierce is currently working on in collaboration with others. “We’re building computer-simulation models across the fish/tetrapod transition to understand how the skeleton and muscles might have changed and what the impact was on locomotion,” said Pierce. The muscles of fish, she explained, are much less varied than those of land animals. As tetrapods emerged from water, “the skeleton became simplified, but the musculature became much more complex to deal with the forces of gravity.” For Pierce, who is the MCZ’s first female curator of vertebrate paleontology, the makeup of the research team is almost as groundbreaking as its finds. The research was primarily funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program via a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship for Esteve-Altava. Esteve-Altava (now at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain)came to Harvard to code specimens in the MCZ collection, while the rest of the team — which included Julia Molnar from New York Institute of Technology, Rui Diogo from Howard University, and Peter Johnston from the University of Auckland— brought expertise and experience from around the world.“Science is becoming much more collaborative and much more diverse,” said Pierce. Painstaking research reveals extinction of dominant species allowed others to evolve rapidly last_img read more

No one way to manage a balance sheet. No such thing as a bad loan.

first_img continue reading » On the second day of ALM First’s Financial Forum in San Diego this week, I had the opportunity to attend five sessions throughout the day. Similar to ALM First’s winter conference, the sessions for day two were divided into two tracks, with one geared towards board members and the other tailored to finance executives.I elected to attend sessions in the finance track, and as a result, enjoyed a deep dive into a range of asset liability management topics, covering specifics such as “Pillars of High Performing Institutions” and “Applications of Hedging Strategies”.Optimizing Balance Sheet Performance Through A Quantitative LensThe presenters in the “Pillars” session reinforced how high-performing institutions consistently optimize balance sheet performance, use a quantitative lens (note: no emotions allowed) to evaluate opportunities. High performers also have systems and processes in place to enable their institutions to capitalize on opportunities in a timely and efficient manner. Key to the session was a thoughtful argument to the notion that excess capital, while nice to have, can be a costly and an inefficient result of mismanaged resources. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Harrisburg to Receive $1.65 Million in Federal Funding for Sinkhole Mitigation Project

first_imgHarrisburg to Receive $1.65 Million in Federal Funding for Sinkhole Mitigation Project September 15, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Government That Works,  Infrastructure,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has been notified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that they approved the project application for the City of Harrisburg’s sinkhole mitigation project on South 14th Street and will provide $1,650,000 in federal funds.“This is welcome news for the City of Harrisburg and the affected community,” said Governor Wolf. “I commend Senators Casey and Toomey, Congressmen Perry and Barletta, Mayor Papenfuse, Senator Teplitz, Representative Kim, and all the federal, state and local agencies and professionals who worked together to ensure this crucial project could move forward.”The announcement comes after a coordinated effort by federal officials, state leaders and agencies, and the City of Harrisburg. A local match of $550,000 will provide a total of $2,200,000 for the first phase of the project. The state Department of Community and Economic Development is working to finalize funding to provide the local match.“The City of Harrisburg welcomes this news on behalf of the residents whose homes and lives have been so impacted by these sinkholes,” said Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “We thank everyone on the federal, state and local levels who played a role in bringing our residents some hope and some relief. The County Commissioners also helped to secure $1 million in Community Development Block Grant disaster relief funds to ensure the success of this project, which makes it clear this was a true team effort that involved officials at all levels.”“Families have suffered for years due to sinkholes on 14th Street, which have caused ongoing problems in the street and to the structures of the homes,” said state Sen. Rob Teplitz. “I’m pleased that the funding has been approved to address this issue that has plagued the neighborhood .”“This is positive news for the affected residents of 14th street who have been looking for help for years” said State Representative Patty Kim. “I applaud the efforts of all involved for continuing to make this project a priority.”This initial funding will cover the acquisition and demolition of the first 25 homes on the 1400 block of South 14th Street between Cloverly Terrace and Magnolia Street. Following demolition, the site will be excavated to a depth of 10 feet and backfilled. The site will be zoned as greenspace without the possibility for future construction.“Earlier this year, DCED identified Harrisburg as one of several priority projects to receive disaster recovery funding to be utilized for property buyouts affected by the sinkhole on South 14th Street,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin. “When finalized, this funding will serve as the local match requirement on behalf of the city, a critical part of obtaining FEMA’s approval. This is the first time DCED has identified a project like this as a priority project and is a perfect demonstration of the governor’s Government that Works initiative in implementation.”“Working with FEMA Region III and FEMA HQ we helped to develop a Sinkhole Project policy and PEMA submitted the first two sinkhole applications under FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program for 2015 mitigation funds,” said PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn. “Working with our federal, state and city partners, PEMA received the first-ever FEMA approved PDM Sinkhole grant for $2,200,000 to assist the first 25 households in the South 14th Street area.”Officials are still in the process of obtaining additional funding to cover the remaining homes that are part of the project. A funding request from the City of Harrisburg is currently under consideration by the non-profit Impact Harrisburg, which was established to aid in the city’s financial recovery.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Harris handles IMCA Stock Car foes at Raceway Park

first_imgRyan Harris ruled the Sunday IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature at Raceway Park. (Photo by Tim Smith)By Bob ConeyJEFFERSON, S.D. (May 7) – New drivers hit victory lane in all five divisions Sunday at Raceway Park.The Casey’s General Store IMCA Stock Car feature had some of the best action of the evening with Ryan Harris coming out on top of a long battle with Jason Ward. Behind the duo of Harris and Ward, Greg Taylor took the third finishing position followed by Jeff Atkins.The Total Motors IMCA Modifieds saw Bob Moore roll out to a 10-car lead in the early laps that he would hold all the way to the checkered flag, with opening week winner Chris Abelson taking the runner-up spot.Rusty Montagne was the KCAU9 IMCA Northern SportMod winner and Tony Fetterman topped the CarQuest IMCA Hobby Stocks.Tyler Thompson paced the Z98 IMCA Sport Compacts.last_img read more