DES MOINES, Iowa – Drivers in all IMCA divisions displaying 10 or more Karl Performance heat win decals are eligible to receive a $50 gift certificate from the Des Moines high performance parts supplier.Drivers should send a photo of their car proving placement of those decals to Marketing Director Kevin Yoder at the IMCA home office by Monday, Nov. 14.Yoder’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.Gift certificates will be presented during the national awards banquet next month.
View Gallery (2 Photos)Marcus Landry is by no means the best basketball player in the country, but what some players have in skill, Marcus Landry has in passion and drive.The father of three children — Marcus Jr., Mariah and Makaylah — Landry has more reasons to be a successful basketball player than do most collegiate athletes. Unlike other players on the Badgers — or most teams for that matter — Landry has a family he needs to support.“After college, the classroom and basketball, I have to find a way to provide for my family,” Landry said. “Whether it be through basketball or my education. So, they’ve helped me succeed in life and basketball and school.”The Badgers’ senior forward has accumulated over 1,000 points in his career at Wisconsin, was part of two Big Ten champion squads, and more than anything else, has left a legacy behind him that his teammates and coaches won’t forget.“He’s a great success story,” University of Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close said. “There are probably a lot of people who questioned whether he’d survive here. Not only has he survived, he’s thrived. He’s a terrific kid that’s got his priorities straight, wanted to prove people wrong and had just done a lot of work. It’s been fun to watch.”A Milwaukee native, Landry attended Vincent High School, where he led the team to the state championship final game, averaging 16.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game his senior season.Family tiesWhile he had individual success in high school, he was unable to match his brother Carl, who led his high school squad to a state championship title.However, Landry accomplished what his brother was never able to do — win a Big Ten title.“I think that he’ll wish his brother well, but at the same time he’ll want bragging rights over him,” teammate Morris Cain said. “It’s very competitive, and he likes playing with him and hanging out with him, so I’m sure he liked [winning the Big Ten title] a lot.”Landry already has a full family of his own, but he would not be where he is now if not for his wife and siblings. According to Landry, the competitive spirit with his brother drove him to become dedicated to the sport. Landry’s wife, Efueko, played basketball at Marquette and his sister currently plays at Temple University.“Obviously, [Carl] has helped me tremendously with a lot of stuff, but just seeing where he’s at and all the things he’s accomplished makes me want to accomplish those and do it better,” Marcus said. “That’s the way I’ve been since I was little. I always competed in that way with him, that’s just the way I always did it.”With his brother currently playing in the NBA for the Houston Rockets, Landry strives for excellence and hopes to play in the same league next year. He believes his family ties to basketball have led to his drive to take his game to the next level.“They’re playing basketball,” Landry said. “It’s something where I don’t want to be the only one out, and basketball is fun. It’s something I love to do and, of course, them all being basketball players gives me that drive to play.”“I’m sure it was a family event, so to speak,” Close said. “He’s always had a great passion for the game and wants to achieve at a higher level, and I think his basketball is ahead of him. I think it’ll be fun to see just how much better he can get.”Also, while he they may not be blood-related, Landry and UW great Alando Tucker were best friends when he attended the university. Landry views his experiences with Tucker as major influences for the way he conducts himself on and off the court.“Alando Tucker was my roommate and he’s the type of guy — he was like my brother,” Landry said. “He’s my brother here — he’s a great guy to be around. He was the one who always gave me a lot of advice. He taught me a lot of things about basketball, a lot of things that are still with me.”Overcoming adversityRight now, Landry may be the face of Wisconsin basketball, but it was not always that way. As a freshman, he struggled on the court physically and off the court academically. But along with the help of his teammates, he was able to overcome that adversity he faced as a freshman.“As a team, we kind of helped him out,” Cain said. “It was more of a team effort; we just stuck by him and told him that we’d be with him no matter what.”“I think he’s matured from a young man to a grown man,” Close said. “A lot has been thrown at him at a lot of different venues and avenues, and he’s tackled it with a lot of spirit and determination.”Now, Landry has started 53 straight games, averages 12.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and is one of the biggest vocal and physical leaders on the team.“It was great to just be a leader out there and be someone that my teammates looked at to make something happen,” he said. “It’s great just playing with my teammates and being a very unselfish player.”Maturity and leadershipWith a lifetime accomplishment of a full family achieved by age 22, Landry has done more for his personal life than has any other Badger. His teammates believe his maturity is a result of his distinct way of life.“There’s certain lifestyles that college kids live, and Marcus doesn’t live that lifestyle,” Cain said. “He’s definitely more mature than most of the kids on campus and considering what he has to do, I definitely think that has impacted his experience here.”Supporting his family, along with being a strong basketball player and teammate, has made him a role model for everyone on the team, and though his lifestyle may be irregular, he influences his other teammates and coaches by being a mature leader on and off the court.“He’s got a lot on his plate, a lot of responsibility. To his credit, he took it head-on where some people might have done something different,” Close said. “The whole package is part of the success story of what he’s accomplished as a father and a husband, as well as a student and an athlete. He’s done a lot of terrific things.”As for Landry’s influences, look no further than his youngest daughter’s godfather — fellow teammate Joe Krabbenhoft.“Just by his character, the way he always goes hard. He’s a tough guy, and there’s just a lot of things he’s doing that I need to do,” Landry said. “Off the court, the way he handles himself, he’s just a great guy and the type of guy that rubs off on me and I try to do the things that he’s doing.”Life after collegeLandry has always wanted to play professional basketball, but his collegiate years have been more important to him than any other part of his life. According to Landry, it’s not just his basketball skills that he hopes people look back on but his character that is the most integral part of his career at UW.“It’s great. It shows where I’ve come from and the type of dedication that I have to being a good player and being a guy that everyone’s able to get along with and just being a very respectful guy.”While most of the students at Wisconsin know him as the guy with the goggles who dominates the paint, Landry hopes they remember him for something not related to the sport.“I just want them to think of me as a great guy, a guy that works hard and is respectful,” he said. “I guess respect goes a long way in how people think about you. So when the fans say my name, I just want them to say, ‘Hey, he was a great guy to be around.’”
Share169TweetShare6Email175 SharesBoarded-up Row House / Paul SablemanJanuary 9, 2016; Pittsburgh Post-GazetteHow about this for an alternative to Baltimore’s mass demolition? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting on a plan by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to use housing choice vouchers (HCV) to support mortgage payments on blighted properties in Pittsburgh’s struggling neighborhoods. The article, “Peduto administration pitches use of Section 8 funds to subsidize home ownership,” describes a plan the mayor has been kicking around for many months:Mr. Peduto’s proposal envisions repurposing money allocated through the federal Section 8 rental-subsidy, under which low-income families pay 30 percent of their income to a landlord, and a voucher pays the balance of the rent. Mr. Peduto wants to subsidize homeownership instead, taking the anticipated value of 30 years’ worth of one household’s vouchers to purchase and renovate a home. Public housing officials would select the homes and finance the work, then set up buyers with a mortgage whose payments would also be set at 30 percent of their income.The mayor has actually been touting this plan for a while. Last month, Peduto appeared at a housing forum sponsored by the Center for American Progress. At the CAP event, “he and U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro led a panel on opportunities for renters in low-income communities. ‘We have thousands of people who need affordable housing and we have tens of thousands of vacant lots and properties. We’d like to bridge that,’ Mr. Peduto told policy makers and fair housing advocates in the audience.”Both Secretary Castro and his boss, President Obama, have been paying some attention to Pittsburgh lately—for two good reasons.Pittsburgh and the surrounding Allegheny County are hubs of Democrats in “swing state” Pennsylvania. Unlike Philadelphia (the other Democratic hub in Pennsylvania), Pittsburgh and its suburbs are majority white and could become a swing area. In another contrast to Greater Philadelphia, Pittsburgh has been relatively free of the shady dealings that have plagued Democrats in the City of Brotherly Love.In Pittsburgh, Mayor Peduto has been able to create a progressive agenda across race and class lines. There’s a least a superficial resemblance to New York’s Bill de Blasio in that both men come to the mayor’s office with a long career in city government, both more progressive than their predecessors, and both with a housing agenda. “We all ran on similar platforms,” Peduto says. “There wasn’t communication among us. It just emerged organically that way. We all faced the reality of growing disparities. The population beneath the poverty line is increasing everywhere. A lot of us were underdogs, populists, reformers, and the public was ready for us.” With New York being a media capital, de Blasio gets more press, but not from lack of effort on Peduto’s part.Creating homeownership vouchers is far from a fully-fledged plan at this point. At their joint appearance, Secretary Castro did not give any expression of support for the mayor’s ideas. That may be because a policy of pushing housing choice voucher holders into blighted homes in low-income neighborhoods is exactly opposite from what’s being promoted by the Obama administration. Another barrier may be local opposition. Mayor Peduto has already angered local landlords with a new registration program that requires fees and mandatory inspections. It’s also easy to imagine Western Pennsylvanians who are locked out of the home-buying market by tight mortgage requirements looking askance at subsidized opportunities for the predominantly African American households who would be empowered by Peduto’s plan. Lastly, there could be opposition from low-income households who are on the waiting list for housing choice vouchers so they can move to opportunity communities.Still, it’s not crazy to think that there may be some ways to empower urban homesteaders to fix up blighted inner-city homes in Pittsburgh. Other municipal tools could be used to support acquisition and rehab. Later this year, funds from the National Housing Trust Fund will be flowing to states. These dollars must be used for households at or below 30 percent of area median income (AMI) and go primarily to “hard” costs like acquisition and rehab rather than housing services. Under current rules, it will be up to each state how to allocate these funds, which are expected to grow each year as the home purchase market slowly recovers from the Great Recession.Another source of support could be “density bonuses.” Like many urban areas, Pittsburgh has experienced a demand for upscale rental properties. A development bonus could give developers permission to build or rehab more densely (i.e., more cheaply) in exchange for a donation to an affordable housing fund administered by the City. Finally, the City could be using some of the tactics honed by municipal land trusts—like tax foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, nuisance abatement receiverships, and donations from banks—to acquire blighted properties that can be rehabbed.Total reliance on HCVs to fund the idea is not necessary and, since HCVs are funded annually, not practical. Still, as noted in the Post-Gazette article, “A rising tide lifts all boats—if you have a boat. Renters don’t.”—Spencer WellsShare169TweetShare6Email175 Shares