News by Professionals 4 Professionals

edition-mobile

NBA roundup: LeBron James will miss regular-season finale

CLEVELAND LeBron James will sit out Cleveland s regular-season finale, resting a strained right calf in preparation for the playoffs. James didn t play in Monday night s loss at Miami and General Manager David Griffin confirmed Tuesday that James will miss Wednesday s game against Toronto.

NBA Roundup: LeBron James Will Miss Regular-season FinaleLeBron James has made a habit of sitting out regular-season finales and will do it again Wednesday night, even though the Cleveland Cavaliers are seeking the top spot in the East. Associated Press/Darren Abate NBA Roundup: LeBron James Will Miss Regular-season Finale

James, 32, who hasn t played in the last regular-season game since 2007, logged 47 minutes in Sunday s overtime loss at Atlanta. He s trying to reach the finals for a seventh straight time. The Cavaliers have prioritized health and rest over getting the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They also sat guard Kyrie Irving against the Heat. He s been bothered by soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

Cleveland is also without center Tristan Thompson, who has a sprained right thumb.

Cleveland will sign free- agent swingman Dahntay Jones for the postseason. Jones, 36, made a significant contribution in last year s finals, when Cleveland rallied from a 3-1 deficit to stun Golden State. He came off the bench and scored five quick points in Game 6.

WARRIORS: Stephen Curry has the best-selling jersey in the NBA for the second consecutive year. The league announced that NBAStore.com sales show Curry leading LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving for the most popular jersey this season.

The NBA also said the Warriors have the best-selling merchandise as a franchise this season, ahead of the Cavaliers, Bulls, Lakers and Knicks. Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas appears in the top 15 in jersey sales for the first time at No. 14.

HAWKS: Atlanta appointed Malik Rose as general manager of its D-League affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania, beginning next season. Rose also will maintain his duties as manager of basketball operations for the Hawks.

The Hawks new D-League franchise will play in Erie the next two seasons before relocating in 2019 to a 3,500-seat arena that will be built in College Park , adjacent to Atlanta s airport and only about 10 miles from Philips Arena. Rose was in the NBA for 13 years, playing with Charlotte, San Antonio, New York and Oklahoma City. He won NBA titles with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003.

CHARLES OAKLEY appeared at a Manhattan criminal court for an arraignment hearing stemming from a series of misdemeanor charges he faces after a scuffle with Madison Square Garden security during a February Knicks game. After a three-minute hearing, Oakley was ordered to file motions by May 16 and appear again on May 30. He faces two assault charges, two harassment charges and criminal trespassing.

Dressed in a dark blue suit, Oakley was the first of about 125 cases called before Judge Judy Kim at the lower Manhattan courthouse. The former Knicks player remained silent while assistant district attorney Ryan Lipes read the charges.

According to Lipes, Oakley told police during his arrest that he had a couple of drinks before arriving at the Garden for the Knicks-Clippers game Feb. 8. Every time I come to the Garden, Dolan has security guards on me, Oakley told police, referring to Knicks owner James Dolan.

Every time I come to the Garden, nothing good happens.

LePage slams Legislature for slow action on Real ID, then vetoes bill to help veterans get passport cards

Hours after accusing the Legislature of moving too slowly to bring Maine into compliance with the federal Real ID mandate, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill Thursday that would have helped several hundred veterans obtain passport cards so they could continue to receive medical care at a military base in New Hampshire. In his veto letter, LePage said that although he agrees with the sentiment of the bill, the Legislature should speedily pass another bill that brings Maine into full compliance with the federal Real ID law because veterans are only one group of many being affected.

MORE LEPAGE COVERAGE

LePage Slams Legislature For Slow Action On Real ID, Then Vetoes Bill To Help Veterans Get Passport CardsGov. Paul LePage says Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, left, has been slow in achieving Real ID law compliance. Staff and AP file photos LePage Slams Legislature For Slow Action On Real ID, Then Vetoes Bill To Help Veterans Get Passport CardsUnhappy with Legislature LePage Slams Legislature For Slow Action On Real ID, Then Vetoes Bill To Help Veterans Get Passport Cards

Business owners are reporting that their truck drivers cannot deliver goods to military installations, LePage wrote in his veto message. There are also reports of first responders unable to attend training at secure federal buildings. Of course, if Maine does not become Real ID compliant, then Mainers will not be able to use their state identification to board domestic commercial flights (beginning in January 2018).

Unfortunately, this bill only fixes a small portion of the problems presented if Maine does not become Real ID compliant. In 2011, LePage signed into law the statute that prohibits Maine from complying with the federal mandate. A bill to repeal that law now is moving through the Legislature[1], but the narrow relief for veterans was passed on an emergency basis and would have taken effect immediately.

Under the federal Real ID law, Maine driver s licenses and identification cards already are no longer accepted for entry at some federal buildings and military bases, including a Department of Veterans Affairs health clinic at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, New Hampshire, where about 500 veterans from southern Maine go for services. The governor s veto message also states that the state Bureau of Veterans Services doesn t have the capacity to determine financial eligibility for veterans needing state help in getting a passport card. The bill s sponsor, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, said LePage is making a political point at the expense of veterans who need help.

What this is really about is the governor is more interested in using these 500 veterans as a political tool to try and force a vote on Real ID compliance rather than actually solving the damn problem that they are facing right now, Golden said. We are not pawns for political football.

Golden is a Marine Corps veteran who served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

VETERANS CAUGHT iN THE REAL ID FIGHT

The bill vetoed by LePage, L.D. 213, would set aside $15,000 to pay for passport cards[2] for veterans who, as of Feb. 1, have been unable to use their Maine driver s licenses to access the Pease base. The bill was intended to provide immediate relief to the veterans from Maine who are caught in the middle of a fight between the state and federal governments[3]. Maine is one of four states that have refused to comply with the federal mandate, which established minimum security standards for state-issued identification cards in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. The other noncompliant states are Montana, Minnesota and Missouri. Unless the state acts, Maine driver s licenses will no longer be a form of identification accepted by the Transportation Security Administration for boarding a commercial flight on Jan. 22, 2018. The license also won t be accepted for entry to federal buildings, including those run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security already has begun denying access to some federal facilities, such as military bases, nuclear plants and certain federal offices, to those whose driver s licenses aren t Real ID compliant. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat, and some civil libertarians have opposed having the state conform with the Real ID law, saying it puts consolidated personal data at risk and has little impact on terrorism or illegal immigration. LePage wants the Legislature to approve L.D. 306, which would repeal the state law prohibiting Maine from complying with the Real ID requirement. The bill passed a legislative committee last week, but has yet to receive any votes in either the House or Senate.

Earlier Thursday, LePage criticized the Legislature and Dunlap for not moving faster to bring the state into compliance with Real ID, saying the delay was hurting a group of veterans who can t gain access to the VA clinic in New Hampshire.

That s another issue that is really starting to bubble up and I ve been very concerned about. Unfortunately, the secretary of state and the Legislature aren t moving fast enough to solve the Real ID problem, LePage told WGAN radio hosts Matt Gagnon and Ken Altshuler during his weekly appearance on the show Thursday. Gagnon and Altshuler were working to raise funds for the Veterans Count organization, and LePage was speaking on veterans issues. LePage failed to mention that Golden s bill had been sitting on his desk for the past eight days, waiting for his signature to make it law. Governors have 10 days to either sign a bill into law or veto it. If they do neither, the bill becomes law without the governor s signature.

DISPUTING GOVERNOR S JUSTIFICATION

Golden said LePage s justification for the veto made no sense, since LePage s own budget proposal includes a $375,000 appropriation for the Bureau of Veterans Services to help veterans who fall into financial hardship. Golden noted that the bureau is going to have to determine financial eligibility to distribute that aid.

They keep saying one thing and then turning around and saying something completely different, he said. How hard is it (to determine financial need)? You ask a veteran to sign an affidavit, to show you a printout of their bank account, to show you they need the help. This isn t rocket science. Golden said if the Bureau of Veterans Services didn t have the capacity to do the work then that should be fixed as well.

Feeling as though you can t figure out how to solve a problem or implement a law to help veterans is not justification for complete inaction, he said. You build the capacity. It s called mission accomplishment. I know the people at the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services know what that means. L.D. 306, the bill authored by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, that would repeal the state law prohibiting Maine from complying with the Real ID mandate, likely will go before the full Senate for a vote next week.

The Legislature also will have an opportunity in the days ahead to override LePage s veto of Golden s bill, which passed 110-8 in the House and 35-0 in the Senate. A two-thirds majority is needed to override the governor s veto.

Scott Thistle can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

[email protected][4]

Twitter: thisdog

References

  1. ^ moving through the Legislature (www.pressherald.com)
  2. ^ set aside $15,000 to pay for passport cards (www.pressherald.com)
  3. ^ the middle of a fight between the state and federal governments (www.pressherald.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (www.pressherald.com)