By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo August 03, 2016 The U.S. Fleet Forces Band (USFFB) participated in a huge military parade in Buenos Aires on July 9th and 10th during celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Argentina’s Declaration of Independence. The USFFB performed with 17 other military and security forces bands from the Americas, Europe, and Africa. “The event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the partnership between Argentina and the United States,” U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robert J. “Seph” Coats, director of the USFFB, told Diálogo. “With our presence, we were able to clearly demonstrate this partnership and the continued goodwill among our countries.” The USFFB traveled to Argentina as part of an initiative of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to join Argentines in celebration of their bicentennial. Also participating in the parade were the Bolivian Army Military Band, the Brazilian Army’s 2nd Armored Cavalry Brigade Band, the Chilean Army Concert Band, the Spanish Air Force Band, the French Paratroopers Band, Italy’s 8thBersaglieri Regiment Fanfare Band, the Moroccan Royal Air Force Band, the Paraguayan Army Command’s Military Concert Band, the Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Band, and the Uruguayan Air Force Band. Argentinian ensembles included the Argentine Army Symphonic Group, the Argentine Navy Band, the Argentine Air Force Band, and the “Alto Peru” Fanfare Band of the “General San Martín” Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers. Also playing were the “General Martín Miguel de Güemes” National Gendarmerie School Special Band, the Argentine Naval Prefecture Band, and the Argentine Federal Police Band. “Meeting the other bands was excellent. We had many opportunities to play together, have conversations, and exchange experiences,” Lt. Coats said. “The lives of military musicians are very similar, even though we are from different countries. It is always a pleasure to be able to get to know our colleagues a little better, and it is always an honor to work together to pay homage to nations and commemorate their independence.” Intense Programming Marching along the emblematic Avenida Libertador in the Argentine capital, the USFFB performed the official song of the U.S. Navy, “Anchors Aweigh,” and a traditional march called “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” “The reception in Buenos Aires was exceptional. The people and the authorities were warm and welcoming, and there was a real sense of camaraderie,” Lt. Coats said. Escorted by 4,000 troops from the Argentine Armed Forces and accompanied by thousands of people, the musicians marched to the Argentine Polo stadium, where each band showed off its skills, interpreting popular marches and songs from their respective countries. The USFFB stood out for its high energy, with a battery in the middle of the lawn and a singer who performed with a microphone in hand. Another group that excited the crowd was the Chilean Army Concert Band, which interpreted the tango “Adiós Nonino,” written by the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. The rest of the bands also had a fairly varied repertoire, including everything from the “Imperial March” (from the movie “Star Wars”) to the Italian classic, “Funiculì, Funiculà.” Festival of Democracy Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, along with national military and civil authorities, attended the bands’ concert in the polo stadium. Argentine Minister of Defense Julio Martínez called the event a “festival of democracy.” “We are very happy and appreciative of everyone’s work and all the countries that sent their bands to celebrate this bicentennial of our independence with us,” Minister Martínez said. “It has been a long time since our service members have been summoned by the National Government to march in a provession, and we were now able to do that,” concluded the minister, also acknowledging the presence of the veterans of the Falklands War. For the USFFB, it was an unforgettable event. “The activity gave us the opportunity to represent the United States and the U.S. Navy in support of a very important event for the Argentine people,” Lt. Coats said. “Our two countries are lucky enough to have a long history of independence, and the parade and the festival of military bands allowed us to join together in Argentina to celebrate this special anniversary.” Known as “The Finest of the Fleet,” the USFFB was created in 1945 and currently has 45 members, all of whom are active-duty U.S. Navy sailors. The band provides musical support to ships, military bases, foreign dignitaries, and community events in the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio River Valley areas of the United States, in addition to regularly mobilizing in Central and South America. “I feel fortunate to direct the organization, which is made up of some of the best, most talented musicians of the U.S. Navy,” Lt. Coats concluded.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently announced a potential increase in power rates by up to 24 percent over the next five years, pending a vote by the L.A. City Council in the near future.The LADWP’s rate change plan involves increasing prices gradually over time by a few percentage points each year. By slowly increasing rates, consumers will not bear the full brunt of rate hikes all at once, according to the LADWP.L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti recently expressed his support for the proposal, saying that the increases will allow the LADWP to modernize infrastructure, transition to more sustainable energy sources, and provide higher quality customer service.“Over the next 15 years, LADWP will be replacing 70 percent of its existing power supply to meet state mandates, fight climate change and fund the energy efficiency programs that enable customers to lower their bills even as rates rise,” Garcetti said in a statement.Students have reacted in various ways to the new proposals, with some claiming that the rate increases are unnecessary and will seriously impact their budgets.“The power rate increases will just add to my living expenses, and rent is already ridiculous,” said Tufan Nadjafi, a sophomore majoring in public relations. “It will affect students immensely over the next five years.”Other students thought the power rate increases could be justified based on the proposed plans to increase sustainability and customer service quality.“Honestly, if we end up paying $12 more each month, it won’t make that much of a difference for me,” said Sarahbelle Selig, a sophomore majoring in international relations. “If that’s what they need to do to supply better service, I think it’s worth it.”How much power bills will increase per year largely depends on individual levels of power consumption. For example, low-use residential consumers can expect an 18 percent increase in their monthly bills over the next five years, while high-use residential customers may experience rate increases as high as 24 percent per month, according to the LADWP website. For a typical residential consumer, these percentage increases translate to about $6-12 more per month in electricity costs or about $75-150 more per year.The LADWP stresses that the additional revenue gained from these rate increases will be effectively allocated toward meeting sustainability and reliability goals and mandates. Should the Los Angeles City Council vote to enact the rate hikes, an estimated $4.5 billion will be spent over the next five years to modernize infrastructure to increase reliability and efficiency. Another $6.2 billion will be put towards clean energy goals, which include generating a third of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and completely eliminating coal-fired power plants by 2024.The proposal also aims to make significant customer service enhancements, improving the overall customer experience. Increasing the timeliness of bills and maintenance is a priority, as well as creating self-service options to boost efficiency.Garcetti highlighted the necessity and urgency of these comprehensive changes in the statement.“After five years of rate increases, the typical residential customer would see a $6-12 increase in their monthly bill,” Garcetti said. “The price of inaction would be much higher than this.”Voting on the proposal is expected within the next two months, and upon passage the first rate hikes will likely be implemented in April.
Prediction: Drew Gulak retains the Cruiserweight championshipSteven: Lorcan won a six-way No. 1 contender’s match to get the crack at Gulak. Should be a fun way to start the show. Gulak should beat the latest callup from NXT and continue his solid run as champion.Prediction: Drew Gulak retains the Cruiserweight title WWE SummerSlam 2019 takes place Sunday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, and will air live on the WWE Network and on pay-per-view. The annual summer extravaganza is traditionally WWE’s second biggest show of the year with huge matches.The year’s SummerSlam card features Brock Lesnar versus Seth Rollins for the Universal championship in a WrestleMania rematch and includes nine other matches — six with championships on the line. With plenty up for grabs at the big show, Sporting News writers Brian Fritz and Steven Muehlhausen make their SummerSlam predictions below.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearWWE SummerSlam 2019 matches, predictionsBrock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal championshipHe is #TheArchitect.He is #TheBeastSlayer.He is @WWERollins. pic.twitter.com/0AoEPbKew2— WWE (@WWE) August 3, 2019It’s a WrestleMania 35 rematch with Rollins once again trying to upend Lesnar for the Universal championship. This time, Rollins won’t be at full-strength with “The Beast” destroying him on each of the last two editions of Raw but the “Architect” has vowed to beat Lesnar and take the title.Brian: It’s too bad WWE won’t go with a straight one-on-one contest between these two and let them really tear it up. Instead, this will be a wounded and limited Rollins going into the match but that’s the story WWE to tell. Can Rollins overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to defeat “The Beast”? I’m saying he willPrediction: Seth Rollins wins the Universal championshipSteven: As we know, this match makes zero percent due to the fact they just wrestled each other four months ago at Wrestlemania. The build has been a carbon copy of what we saw at that time. If they are given time, unlike when it opened Wrestlemania, then it could be pretty good but don’t expect it to be. The result should be different than what we saw back then. Rollins never really caught on as champion, and with Lesnar holding the title, the person he loses it too should be someone you want to make a star and Rollins is already at that point.Prediction: Brock Lesnar retains the Universal championshipMORE: The 6 craziest rumors for WWE SummerSlam 2019Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton for the WWE championshipThis issues between these two go back to 2009 when the two of them feuded Kingston scoring the win. However, it was Orton who became the bigger star and Kingston now claims that Orton used his political clout behind the scenes to keep him out of the main event picture. Now after all these years, it’s Kingston that is the WWE champion and he’s ready to prove that has earned that position and won’t let Orton take it from him.Brian: Kudos to WWE for not only diving into their history as background for this feud but also including some of the footage from back then. Kingston’s championship reign has already lasted longer than some expected and there’s no reason for the ride to end here.Prediction: Kofi Kingston retains the WWE championshipSteven: There’s been nothing wrong with how the program has gone in playing back to Kingston saying Orton held him back after their match over a decade ago. But it’s still hard to get behind either guy when Orton’s hardly been around, and Kingston is still throwing pancakes into the crowd. Kingston needs a blow away match to establish his title reign, and Orton is the right guy to have it with.Prediction: Kofi Kingston retains the WWE championshipMORE: Ranking the top SummerSlam matches of all timeBecky Lynch vs. Natalya in a submission match for the “Raw” women’s championshipKnock knock @NatbyNature #summerslam #canadasnewhero pic.twitter.com/6289wmoHTF— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) August 5, 2019This one has gotten personal over the past few weeks between the former friends with each trying to injure each other. Both of their signature submission holds — Natalya with the Sharpshooter and Lynch with the Disarm-her — will be front and center with the added stipulation of this being a submission match. Another added element will be a raucous Toronto crowd who will likely be fully behind their fellow Canadian Natalya.Brian: The atmosphere should be electric with the Toronto crowd serving as the background in support of Nattie. As good of a story as it would be for the hometown audience, I don’t see her winning the championship. Well, unless Ronda Rousey returns and costs her the title. That’s not too far-fetched as it feels like Rousey could return sooner rather than later. But she could also appear after the match simply to show that she’s back.Prediction: Becky Lynch retains the “RAW” women’s championshipSteven: A better than expected story between the two. The promos have made you want to see them go at it and the fact Summerslam is in Natalya’s native Canada gives the match an extra added feel it wouldn’t have anywhere else. There’s no reason for a title change here unless you want the moment of Natalya winning in Canada.Prediction: Becky Lynch retains the “RAW” women’s titleSN Q&A: Becky Lynch on doing things her way, SummerSlam, waiting for Ronda RouseyBayley vs. Ember Moon for the “SmackDown” women’s championshipThis match simply came about after the two of them successfully teamed together in victory on “SmackDown” with Bayley choosing Ember Moon to be her SummerSlam opponent.Brian: There hasn’t been much build for this one and WWE didn’t do Ember any favors by having her lose on TV recently. Hopefully, they’ll have a good match.Prediction: Bayley retains the “SmackDown” women’s championshipSteven: Moon has come into her own here. She has a new found confidence that she hasn’t had since being called up to the main roster. It’s time to put a belt on a new woman and see what they can do.Prediction: Ember Moon becomes Smackdown Women’s championShane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens; if Owens loses, he will quit WWEOwens has not been shy about accusing McMahon of using to family name to put the spotlight on himself rather than other deserving superstars. McMahon has done his best to keep Owens off TV but that hasn’t stopped him from popping up and attacking Shane-o-Mac. Owens wanted to get his hands on McMahon so badly that he said he would quit WWE if he loses and that was too good to turn down.Brian: As much fun at it might be seeing Owens lose only to wreak havoc on WWE television under a mask while using a cheesy alias (how about El Generico?), no one wants to see Shane McMahon get another win. You can bet that the live crowd will be more than 100% behind their fellow Canadian in hoping that he serves up a Stone Cold stunner on McMahon.Prediction: Kevin OwensSteven: Been a fun program as Owens is getting over as a babyface. We know what to expect from a Shane McMahon match. The time is now for McMahon to be in fewer matches and there’s no way Owens is “quitting” as the company needs top-notch talent on their television every week.Prediction: Kevin OwensAJ Styles vs. Ricochet for the United States championshipRicochet was riding high after winning his first title in the WWE. That quickly came crashing down after Styles, with help from his O.C. buddies, beat him for the U.S. Title. Ricochet has been on a quest to win it back and finally earned the rematch after winning a Fatal 5-Way match on Raw to earn the title shot.Brian: This one has “match of the night” written all over it and you know both Styles and Ricochet will go all out in delivering that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that WWE gives them at least 15 minutes to properly put on a barnburner of a match with Ricochet scoring a pleasing win.Preciction: Ricochet wins the United States championshipSteven: An exciting program that needs a long match to show how great both are. With so many bouts on the show, there should be one of considerable length, and this should be it. Can see WWE is trying to get Ricochet over, and Styles is the right person to get him to the next level. The time isn’t now for a title change as there is more to the chase of the babyface chasing the heel to win the big one.Prediction: AJ Styles retains the United States TitleBray Wyatt vs. Finn BalorAfter a long hiatus, Bray Wyatt returned to WWE television in April in the entertaining-yet-creepy Firefly Funhouse segments. He promised that everyone would see his dark side that he called “The Fiend” at some point. That came on the July 15 edition of Raw when Wyatt in his alter-ego and sporting his. Evil mask attacked an unsuspecting Finn Balor.Brian: There’s no way that Bray Wyatt loses in his first match as “The Fiend”. Plus, Balor is reportedly taking some time off after SummerSlam. It’s too bad they’re not doing “The Fiend” vs “The Demon” but hopefully that will happen soon. How about WrestleMania 36?Prediction: Bray WyattSteven: It all began with Wyatt returning to his new character and attacking Balor. Wyatt followed it up with putting the mandible claw on Mick Foley and Kurt Angle. Balor is going to be taking a hiatus after the match, and Wyatt needs to be put over strong.Prediction: Bray WyattCharlotte Flair vs. Trish StratusFlair has been on a quest to prove that she is the greatest female superstar of all-time. A win against WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus would help that claim and when Stratus was a guest on Jerry Lawler’s “King’s Court”, Flair showed up to challenge her. Of course, Stratus wouldn’t back down especially for a big SummerSlam match in her hometown of Toronto.Brian: These two haven’t showed much in the way of chemistry on TV over the last few weeks. A lot of that is Stratus being nervous and a bit rusty when it comes to her promos. The only thing that really matters is what she does in the ring. As much of a pleasing win as it might be for the Toronto fans, it would mean a lot more for Flair to get the win.Prediction: Charlotte FlairSteven: A shame this was made official only last week. Having a sustained program between two different generations of women wrestlers would have been a lot of fun to see. But it was done since Stratus resides in Toronto and will get a big reaction and the crowd behind her. Flair is on another level as a talent especially as a heel, and she will need her working boots on as Stratus has only had two matches in the last year. Can only see Flair winning in a passing of the torch.Prediction: Charlotte FlairGoldberg vs. Dolph ZigglerGuess what, @HEELZiggler… YOU’RE [email protected] RETURNS to the ring THIS SUNDAY at #SummerSlam! #RAW pic.twitter.com/0lFlEW2M19— WWE (@WWE) August 6, 2019Ziggler was originally set to face The Miz but when they had the contract signing this past Monday, Miz revealed that Ziggler would instead be squaring off against the legendary Goldberg at SummerSlam who he had been insulting for weeks. Brian: This shouldn’t take long at all. Bell rings, Goldberg hits a thunderous spear and a Jackhammer, 1-2-3 and the crowd roars.Prediction: GoldbergSteven: This one had been teased for a couple of weeks and was officially announced on Monday’s Raw. As long as Goldberg doesn’t ram his head into the door before he makes the walk to the ring, it should be suitable for the time they’re given. While you usually want someone the stature of Goldberg to put someone over, it should be a younger guy and not someone who is a veteran.Prediction: GoldbergDrew Gulak vs. Oney Lorcan for the Cruiserweight championshipLorcan has been working hard towards a championship match and he finally earned it after winning a six pack challenge on the most recent episode of 205 Live.Brian: This will likely be on the preshow which is typical for Cruiserweight championship matches on monthly WWE events. It doesn’t matter as these two will tear it up and get the show off to a strong start.