Robert Moreno lost faith in Barça’s comeback to PSG

first_imgRobert Moreno has given an interview to RMC Sport, in which he recalled Barcelona’s unforgettable comeback against PSG in the Champions. The team then trained by Luis Enrique had to face 4-0 at the Parque de los Príncipes and get a heroic lap at the Camp Nou. He did it, with a six-goal victory at one and two goals in injury time. Cavani, at 62 ‘, seemed to have destroyed all Barça hope, but in an agonizing end they managed to pass to the quarterfinals. However, even the protagonists of that story did not have faith until the last moment. “I was in the stands during the game, but at 4-1 in the 88th minute I thought it was all over, so I went back to the locker room. Then I heard the fifth and sixth goals, so I quickly went out onto the field. It was something incredible, “recalls the Monaco coach, who admits to having thrown in the towel prematurely.He also gave credit to his club back then: “It is difficult for PSG, because they did not think to fit that result after a 4-0. When you arrive at the Camp Nou it is difficult. 90 minutes in Barcelona are very long.” However, throughout the previous weeks, the Barça coaching staff conscientiously stated the match: “Justo after the defeat in Paris, we began to prepare for the return. We wonder how to win, how to turn the result around“last_img read more

RSA reminds Ginebra to stay humble after back-to-back PBA titles

first_imgHumble in victory and gracious in defeat.That was what San Miguel president and COO Ramon S. Ang reminded the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and their legions of fans amid the celebration of their recent 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup conquest.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Fears over N.Korea attack during Winter Games an ‘exaggeration’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene “I hope with this win, we’ll be humble and nice to everybody,” the SMC head honcho said in Filipino, addressing the Gin Kings Monday during their official victory party at the SMC Head Offices.Ang is thankful that after nearly a decade of drought, coach Tim Cone was able to lead Ginebra to back-to-back titles in the season-ending conference amid a worthy adversary in Meralco.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogREAD: Ginebra escapes Meralco in Game 7, completes title repeat“Ginebra waited for a championship in eight years. We won last year, and this year, even up to the final minute, we didn’t know if we could repeat. But we’re thankful that we’re able to win back-to-back,” he said. Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua also likewise thanked the fans who trooped to the games and endlessly supported the crowd favorites.“This celebration is for all of you, for the ka-barangay!,” the Ginebra team governor said as he led the ceremonial toast.Ginebra’s title repeat smashed the gate attendance records, with Game 7 of the Finals drawing 54,086 fans to the cavernous Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.SMC president Ramon S. Ang and San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua hold the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup title during Ginebra’s victory party. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales?last_img read more

NCAA football: Arellano books finals slot, San Beda stays alive

first_imgView comments Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals MOST READ Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mark Anthony Magtoto put the Red Booters up in the 29th minute before Green Booter Major Dean Ebarle knotted things up, 1-1, in the 52nd minute.It was a huge sigh of relief for the Red Booters, who found themselves dropping from the top seed to number four following the forfeiture of two of their wins after fielding in an ineligible player in midfielder Dane Peñaflor.In the juniors division, reigning titlist San Beda dumped Letran, 7-1, while CSB-La Salle Greenhills slipped past Arellano, 2-1, as the two winning squads clash for all the marbles on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Levi Malihan tried a last ditch effort to pull the Pirates back, sending the ball to the back of the net at the 81st minute, but it was a case of too little too late for Lyceum.With the win, Arellano moves closer to regaining the crown after yielding the title to San Beda last season. The best-of-three finals duel begins on Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkIn the other Final Four matchup, defending champion San Beda stayed alive after edging College of St. Benilde, 2-1, to force a decider for the last finals ticket.Nimrod Balabat scored the winner in the 92nd minute to set up the do-or-die on Wednesday. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Kiefer ‘not surprised’ Thirdy made 23-for-23 list: He really worked for it Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Arellano University earned itself a spot in the NCAA Season 93 men’s football Finals after turning back Lyceum, 3-1, on Monday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.Charles Gamutan struck in the 46th minute before Roberto Corsame Jr. and Patrick Bernarte followed suit in the 56th and 71st minute, respectively, to put the match beyond doubt for the Chiefs.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Embiid, Simmons rally 76ers past Knicks

first_imgLATEST STORIES Simmons joined Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson as the third rookie in NBA history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. The 21-year-old Australian joined the special club when he picked up his fifth assist of the night in the second quarter, setting up Covington’s 3-point basket.UP NEXT:76ers: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.Knicks: Continue their four-game homestand Saturday when they welcome the Charlotte Hornets.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery MOST READ Simmons finished with 13 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.His last three assists couldn’t have come at a better time, sparking a 6-0 run that led to Philadelphia’s impressive comeback.“I try not to get carried away with what people say,” said Simmons, who shot 5 for 11 from the field, hitting his only two attempts in the fourth quarter. “You know, people want me to be a scorer right now, or a player that I am not right now. You know, I can score the ball, but I can also rebound and pass the ball. I rather do that and do what I’m pretty good at than force things.”Dario Saric had 21 points and 12 boards, JJ Redick added 18 points and Robert Covington chipped in 15 for Philadelphia, which was able to rebound from a tough loss Tuesday night to the Indiana Pacers, who currently own the fourth seed in the East.Michael Beasley had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Courtney Lee and Trey Burke each contributed 16 points for the Knicks, who have lost a season-high nine straight games and 17 of 18. The Knicks’ last win came on Feb. 22 at Orlando.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) drives past New York Knicks’ Enes Kanter (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 15, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — Ben Simmons knows some people want him to shoot more.The 21-year-old rookie likes to shoot. He just likes rebounding and setting up his teammates just as much.ADVERTISEMENT Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerismcenter_img Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown PH handball gets spot in beach games “I think in the fourth quarter we need to learn how to close out a game,” said Enes Kanter, who added 14 points and 10 rebounds.Kyle O’Quinn finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for a New York team that has lost its last eight games at home. The Knicks haven’t earned a victory at Madison Square Garden since beating Brooklyn on Jan. 30.New York led 104-98 on Emmanuel Mudiay’s jumper with 5 ½ minutes remaining in the fourth quarter before the 76ers mounted their comeback.After a Philadelphia timeout, Simmons found Embiid for a driving layup to cut the lead to four points.A missed hook shot by Kanter led to another assist from Simmons, this time finding Saric for a 3-pointer that cut the deficit for the 76ers, 104-103 with 4:18 left.The 6-foot-10 Australian point guard then made up for missing a pair of free throws and fed Covington for a 3-pointer with 3:23 left capped an 8-2 run to put the visitors up 106-104. But Lee answered back with a 16-foot jumper to tie it up on the next possession.Embiid was then fouled and made one of his two free throws to give Philadelphia the lead for good, 107-106 with 2:45 to go before Redick followed it up with a 3-pointer from the corner in front of the Knicks bench.An errant pass by Beasley on the ensuing possession led to a 3-pointer by Saric behind the right wing to put the game out of reach at 113-106 with just 1:58 left.TIP-INS76ers: Embiid became the first Sixers player to notch 40 20-point performances in a season since Andre Iguodala (2007-08). . Philadelphia improved to 3-0 against the Knicks this season. It’s their first series win over New York since 2008-09. . Simmons, Iguodala and Aaron McKie are the only three players in the organization since 1983-84 to post consecutive triple-doubles.Knicks: Mudiay had 12 points.GOOD COMPANY Joel Embiid had 29 points and 10 rebounds to celebrate his 23rd birthday a day earlier, Simmons finished with a triple-double, and the Philadelphia 76ers used a big final period to rally past the New York Knicks, 118-110 on Thursday night.Embiid doesn’t see why his teammate should shy away from a style of play that resulted in his second straight triple-double.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“I think he has to stay himself, he wants to be a pass-first point guard,” Embiid said. “Sometimes he needs to be a little bit aggressive, but I don’t think anybody should change him. Everybody should let him play the way he wants to.”The Sixers, who hold the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before storming back in the final period, going on a 20-6 run during the last five minutes of regulation. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims View commentslast_img read more

Lindener charged for failing to submit to breathalyser test

first_imgA Linden man who appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Linden Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday was granted $10,000 bail on the charge of failure to submit to a breathalyser test, requested by a member of the Guyana Police Force.Shawn Niekerk of Lot 1841 Central Amelia’s Ward, Mackenzie, Linden, denied the charge which stated that on August 16, 2018, he drove motor car HC 7824 along Sir David Rose Avenue and failed to comply in accordance with a member of the Police Force who had stopped him and requested that he submit to a breathalyser test.The 50-year-old man was represented by Attorney René McDonald, who in a bail application told the court that the Niekerk is a taxi driver. The prosecution did not object to bail. The matter will continue on September 12.last_img

Huskies fall just short against JDA Kings 4-3

first_imgThe game was essentially a tale of two halves as Grande Prairie held the edge in shots by almost a two to one margin at 20-11 halfway through the second period as they controlled most of the play. The Huskies would slowly claw back however as they picked up their game and drew even in the shot department as the final period progressed.Head Coach Gary Alexander says that while he was happy the team competed hard, the Huskies have some work to do going forward.“I don’t feel very good that we lost, but we played pretty par hockey with them through most of the game,” he says. “At one time we were down in shots by quite a ways but we did come back. We struggled with the pressure; we knew this was going to be a test so we learned something from it. We need to be on our game a little more.”- Advertisement -The game was a chippy affair throughout. There was plenty extra activity between the whistles and as the second period drew to a close as coaches from both teams had to be talked down by the officials as there was a confrontation between the benches stemming from the actions of both teams. Alexander says he expects the heated competition between the two rival teams to continue as the season progresses, but notes the Huskies must do a better job at remaining composed during intense situations. “It’ll be the same; there’s no doubt about about it,” he explains. “There’s no love loss between us and Grande Prairie, and there never has been. Todd [Alexander] and I don’t like Grande Prairie any better than the boys do. We just have to control our emotions better against them.”The team also had to do without Forward Owen Barker for most of the game as he was assessed a game misconduct for a slashing call. Given the timing of the penalty it forced the Huskies to juggle their lines to try and keep players as fresh as possible.Advertisement “When you lose a player like that right off the bat it changes your whole line system,” Alexander admits. “It unbalances us so we try to play three forwards in four places and they get fatigued. They get confused because they’re jumping back and forth amongst their lines; it takes away from our penalty kill and everything. We have set players we use for that and set players for powerplays and you take one of them out, its tough to get cohesive through it all.Goalie Travis McLean had a solid night between the pipes, especially in the second period as he made a number of key saves. He turned aside 28 of 32 shots in the losing effort.Scoring in order for Fort St. John were Cayle Bell with the first two markers, and Jayton Wieler.The assists went to Blair Karasiuk with three, Jordan Gies, John Apsassin Wyatt Anderson.Advertisement Grande Prairie won the shot battle as well by a slim margin as they outshot Fort St. John 32-30.The Huskies return to the ice for practices on Tuesday and Thursday before they play their second game of the year against the Sexsmith Vipers on Friday evening. You can listen the game live on Moose FM with the pregame show at 6:45, and the opening faceoff at 7 p.m.last_img read more

Younger offenders noted in nation’s crime surge

first_imgWASHINGTON – Increasing violence among teenagers and other youths appears to have contributed to a nationwide crime spike, the Justice Department said Tuesday. Gangs and gun violence are partly to blame for the rise in crime that is on pace to increase for the second straight year, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a prepared speech. In response, the Justice Department is pledging to spend nearly $50 million this year to combat gangs and guns, and will push Congress to enact new laws to let the federal government better investigate and prosecute violent crime. FBI data from last fall show violent crimes, including murders and robberies, rose by 3.7 percent nationwide during the first six months of 2006. Those findings came on top of a 2.2 percent crime hike in 2005 – the first increase since 2001. Offenses committed by people using firearms pose a major threat not only to communities, but also to police. So-called “straw purchases,” where gun owners buy their firearms through a go-between, is an area of concern. In Los Angeles, year-to-date statistics show violent crime is down 7 percent as the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI and city and state prosecutors have stepped up anti-gang efforts, which often involves targeting teenage criminals. In 2006, there was a 2.5 percent decrease in violent crimes citywide. But police officials say that some crimes, including gang-related homicides, account for roughly half of the city’s total. So far this year, 60 of the city’s 126 homicides have been classified as gang-related. If not for unsolved homicides, those numbers might be higher. “If we suppress gang activities overall, we’re going to have violent crimes decrease, which we’ve done,” said Jason Lee, LAPD spokesman. “We’re looking at a decrease in violent crimes as opposed to nationwide, which is good.” The Justice Department plans to distribute $18 million in grants nationwide this year to prevent and reduce illegal gun sales and other firearms crimes. Gonzales also will announce spending $31 million in new funds this year to combat gangs, according to the Justice Department fact sheet. The department also is working on a new crime bill to help federal authorities assist local and state police in cases involving juvenile crime. Staff Writer Rick Coca contributed to this report.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Faced with the discouraging data, Gonzales last fall ordered a study of 18 cities and suburban regions to show why crime is surging. According to Gonzales’ prepared remarks and a Justice Department fact sheet, obtained by The Associated Press, the study found: That a growing number of offenders appear to be younger, and their crimes more violent, and that laws in some states provide few, if any, tough penalties on juvenile offenders. Many youths have little parental oversight and are too easily influenced by gang membership and glamorized violence in popular culture. Loosely organized gangs present the biggest concern for law enforcement officials because they are hard to investigate and their members often commit random acts of crime out of self-protection. last_img read more

Shock selection? ‘Leaked’ Liverpool line up v AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup

first_imgStream AFC Wimbledon v Liverpool in the FA Cup live on talkSPORT on 5 January 2015. Kick off 19:55 UK time.Liverpool face a potentially tricky trip to League Two side AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round.The Dons are currently mid-table in the fourth tier, but will be desperate to record what would be the greatest result in their history.CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ‘WORLD’S STRONGEST FOOTBALLER’ WHO WILL LINE UP AGAINST LIVERPOOL!The Reds, meanwhile, are aiming to land their first silverware of the Brendan Rodgers’ reign and a first FA Cup since 2006, so could field a strong side.In the earlier rounds of the League Cup, Rodgers opted to blood some of the club’s highly rated youngsters, including Jordan Rossiter and Jordan Williams, while giving run outs to fringe players like Suso.But in the FA Cup, following a poor defeat away to Oldham in 2013, the Northern Irishman has tended to restrict his changes to the introduction of more senior stars, making it unlikely that a player like 17-year-old Sheyi Ojo – who was recently named on the bench for the Premier League trip to Burnley – will be named in the starting XI against Wimbledon.Indeed, a starting line up that is rumoured to have been ‘leaked’ has been circulating among Liverpool fan forums, that looks like a strong team, including the return of Martin Skrtel.If the rumours are true, this is how the Reds could line up… Would you rest Sterling and select Lambert ahead of Balotelli? Comment below… 1 Martin Skrtel back for Liverpool in the FA Cup 1last_img read more

Age is just a number: Ms. Senior California going for the gold

first_imgWEST HILLS – Susan Cashman, a vibrant 70-year-old with piercing blue eyes and flaming red hair, is more prepared than most for the Ms. Senior pageant next month in Las Vegas. At 5-foot-7, she sashays before the judges in a size 8 evening gown. She belts out the operatic “Torna a Sorrento” like a pro. She nails the interview portion of the contest. She shines. And why wouldn’t she? She’s been a performer since she was 10. “I love entertaining people,” said the accomplished opera singer. “I know I do it well. I’m comfortable on the stage.” And she’s seen it all: tap dancers, singers, poets. Last year’s winner was Suzanne Shelley of Mississippi, a pianist. This year’s California pageant had 15 finalists with a broad range of backgrounds – even a nurse and a missionary. But it’s a tough road to the state and national crowns, with contestants having to clear a variety of hurdles including a personal interview, statement of philosophy of life, gown competition and talent contest. Judges score contestants on a scale of 1 to 10. Talent and interview portions make up 60 percent of the competition, with modeling and philosophy of life making up 40 percent. “They come onstage and glow,” said Gloria Davis, 81, executive producer of Ms. Senior California. “Some are comedians. Some play instruments. Some are dancers. “There are all types. You never know what they’re going to do.” Many of the women enter the competition after hardships such as losing a husband and end up making friends for life. “Once they’re in and get on the stage, they just blossom,” Davis said. “They become amazing … The whole point is for them to enjoy themselves. “They get to know a group of women who are in the same quality of life as they are.” For Cashman, performing has always been in her blood and the competition gives her an outlet, said her husband, Tim Cashman, 76. The couple met nearly 50 years ago in the national touring company of “My Fair Lady.” “There was something special about her,” said Cashman, who was a master electrician with the production. “She shines when she gets on stage and you would never know that she is shy. “She loves to perform. When she’s on stage, I’m the proudest person in the room.” At the age of 3, the Los Angeles-born woman studied tap dancing. At 6, she took ballet classes. At 10, she was a starlet in the “Ken Murray’s Blackouts” show. She went on to model and study drama. But singing was her passion and led her to perform at nightclubs, the Los Angeles/San Francisco Civic Light Opera, Hollywood Bowl, and on cruise ships traveling the world. “The singing is a personal thing … an obsession,” Cashman said. “The good Lord gave me a voice. I just love to sing.” But in 1977 after her last professional gig, her singing voice fell silent. Married with two teenage children, she put family ahead of career and started a new chapter in her life as a Realtor. Her suburban life prompted her to start a graffiti-busting group in the West Valley, and for the past two decades she has gone around her community painting over walls. “I called a couple of women and formed our group,” she said. “We got into our grubbies and rolled up our sleeves and got rollers. I don’t like looking at graffiti.” But she always looked back at her days as a star, wowing crowds. Three years ago, she saw an advertisement for the pageant program and her eyes lit up. She can model. She can sing. So she practiced for months to get her voice in shape. “I thought, `What a fantastic opportunity,”‘ she said. “This is a wonderful thing for seniors. A lot of people just give up when they turn 65 years old. “Seeing these gals is great. We get to dress up to the nines. I’m just enjoying the moment.” And her husband fully supports her new endeavor. “Her voice has come back,” he said. “She’s not 19 anymore, but she can still sing. She enjoys it. She works hard.” Today as Ms. California and a member of the Valley-based singing group The Chansonettes, Cashman goes to senior centers and veterans hospitals entertaining crowds. But for now, the family’s attention is on next month’s competition. “She’s going to do great,” said her daughter, Carolyn Cashman of Agoura Hills. “She’s polishing her crown. “She’s got beautiful poise, a wonderful way that she carries herself. She’s a true beauty. She hasn’t had any enhancement. She is what she is.” (818) 713-3699160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.As this year’s Ms. Senior California, the West Hills resident now will vie with 50 other seniors for the Ms. Senior America title in a weeklong national pageant that starts Nov. 5 at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Contestants must be 60 or older, and Cashman said she’s seen her share of nonagenarians compete for the coveted title at various levels of the competition. Cashman was runner-up in the state pageant two years in a row before being crowned at this year’s competition at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. She’s traveled both years to the nationals, and while she knows little about this year’s competitors, she knows what she’s up against. “I don’t know who the contestants are but they’re all winners,” she said. “I expect there will be some tough competition.” last_img

Growers switch to organics

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Though the market for organic flowers is still small – sales totaled $8 million in 2003, a fraction of the $19.4 billion consumers spent on all flowers nationally – it’s growing fast as consumers wary of chemicals start looking for the same standard in other products such as soaps, clothing, cosmetics – and Valentine’s Day bouquets. There’s no evidence that organic flowers are healthier, but consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for products made without chemicals harmful to workers or the environment. Organic flower sales are expected to grow 13 percent annually through 2008, according to the Organic Trade Association. Many in the industry hope the decision to go organic will eventually be an environmentally friendly but also a financially sound alternative for farmers trying to stay afloat, just as finding interesting new flowers, colors and shapes helped them survive when foreign competition was crushing local production in the 1990s. “There’s going to be a learning curve, because flowers have to look good, and they’re very susceptible to all kinds of pests,” said Peggy Dillon, a spokeswoman with the California Cut Flower Commission. “But the organic foods movement took a while to leave the health food store, and now it’s big business.” The trouble in the flower fields of Central California started in 1991, when the United States reduced tariffs on flowers brought in from Colombia and other South American countries. For decades, California had supplied the nation’s flower shops. But producers here couldn’t compete with South America’s lower wages and steady sunshine. Foreign growers also benefited from being able to use more pesticides to create beautiful flowers, but the chemicals left workers with blurred vision, trembling hands, headaches and dizziness. California still grows 72 percent of domestically produced flowers. But today, about 70 percent of the flowers Americans buy are foreign, according to the Society of American Florists. Comparisons with previous years are difficult because the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed its record keeping in 1999, but for roses, 95 percent were imported in 2004, compared with 48 percent in 1991. That shift left a sad stamp on California’s coastal flower farms. There were 45 farmers growing roses in the Watsonville area in 1991. Now, there are about 10, Dillon said. Great greenhouses, once fragrant with roses, loom empty in the chilly fog next to Dautoff’s fields. Now it’s cheaper for San Francisco markets to fly them from Colombia than buy the ones his neighbors used to grow. “I can’t compete on regular roses,” said farmer Marc Kessler of California Organic Flowers, who grows more than 100 varieties on two acres, then packages them for shipping around the country. “But organic gives us an edge, and I can compete with unique varieties, special colors and fragrances and freshness.” In spite of its promise, the organic market is still limited, and the financial risks are substantial, which makes it hard for Dautoff, who wishes his whole farm could be chemical-free. To halt the chemical cycle, farmers need to leave fields fallow for three years for pesticides to wash from soils. They also need to encourage beneficial insects to protect against destructive ones and rotate crops. Also, the wholesale buyers who make up the bulk of the mainstream flower market still don’t want organic, said Darrell Torchio, who has run a flower wholesale business in San Francisco for 26 years. He deals with caterers, wedding planners and florists, and still hasn’t seen a surge in demand. “If they market it right, people who like to buy organic could be interested in it,” Torchio said. “But the people using it commercially aren’t really interested.” But there are signs that this might be changing, said Gerald Prolman, who started Organic Bouquet, the first national online distributor of organic flowers, in 2001. Part of Prolman’s mission is education, letting consumers know that if they’re getting pesticide-free chocolate and wine for their valentine, they can also get their flowers without added chemicals. Many people who would probably want to buy organic flowers just don’t know they’re available, he said. “This is a matter of supply and choice, rather than supply and demand,” he said. “The more we make it available, the more people ask for it.” And his investment is paying off. After an initial struggle to introduce the idea and find suppliers, the company took off, tripling in size between 2004 and 2005. Now 85 percent of his flowers are organic, and the rest are on their way to becoming organic. This Valentine’s Day, Organic Bouquet will ship 120,000 organic flowers to customers around the country. Prolman gets most of his roses in Colombia, where he works with an organic grower who can offer lower costs. But he gets organic tulips, lavender, sunflowers and other summer bouquets here, and said ultimately he would like to rely more on local growers. On Dautoff’s 20-acre farm, an old wooden sign left over from when his parents started the business – Dautoff’s Daisies – reminds him of the time when it was possible to make a living growing one flower, and a common one at that. His foray into organic will also begin with one flower, but he hopes it will spread to his exotics and something bigger altogether. On the Net: California Organic Flowers: Organic Bouquet: California Cut Flower Commission: 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WATSONVILLE, Calif. – Along a fog-blanketed swath of coastline waiting to burst forth with vivid colors, there are signs of the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows of the flower industry. Empty greenhouses flank Josh Dautoff’s farm, relics of the bust that came when cheap imports drove his neighbors out of business. Tiny yellow bulbinellas, tropical red-and-white amaryllis and more than 150 other varieties replace the daisies his parents grew in the simpler days of floral farming, when a family could make a living with one flower. A barren six-acre plot will soon hold the seeds of a future crop of organic sunflowers. “People come to us looking for something different,” said Dautoff, 29. “No one’s coming to me now asking for organic flowers. But I have faith that they will.” Farmers who weathered a wave of cheap imports in the past decade by coaxing their fields to yield hundreds of harder-to-find varieties are increasingly betting on organic flowers, a nascent industry that is taking bloom on the heels of the organic food boom. last_img read more