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Triple Crowns Summer Softball Blast

LtoR-Natia Martin, Sydne Soloman,Chelsey Gore of Nashville ,Tenn-Nighthawks

LtoR-Natia Martin, Sydne Soloman,Chelsey Gore of Nashville ,Tenn-Nighthawks

Photos and story Earl Heath

FORT COLLIN, CO-As summer seasons brings out the best in most of us, Triple Crowns Sports brings together the best young softball from around  the country and  the world. The Sparkler tournament for ages 16U and 18U had more than 500 teams from the USA, Guam, Canada and Australia.

The Junior Sparkler (14U and 12U) took place in the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley area. It had more than 200 teams from 38 different states. The tournament had some of the most talented young people anywhere. We will bring you some of the highlight of the Junior Sparkler.

The Players included The Nashville Night Hawks 14U who had a trio that would make many college coaches take notice. Shortstop Chelsey Gore made back handed plays, threw runners out from deep in the hole and on offense had several stolen bases.

“The tournament gives me a chance to play with my friends,” said Gore. “We get a chance to be together and show what we can do as a team.”

Gores father has a horse farm with some 15 horses and she likes horseback riding during her spare time.

 “The game is fun for me” said 14 year old Syde Soloman. “I really like playing with my friends, we all help each other out.” Soloman plays catcher and third base for the Nighthawks. She bats clean-up and is a true leader- her teammates look up to her for inspiration. She already has plans for the future. “I want to play college softball. I like Florida I’ve seen them on TV I think it would be a cool place to play.”

Nataia Martin is the third member of the fantastic trio. The athletic center fielder excelled on offense and defense. She played center-field like a seasoned pro. She chased down line drives that appeared to be hits. In two games she threw out two runners headed to third base and gunned down two more headed for home.

 “I practiced long tossing  with my 12 year-old sister,” said Martin. “That helped me make accurate throws in a game.”

She has jackrabbit speed – She scored all the way from first base on a single to the outfield. She’s is extremely athletic as a freshman played on the girls varsity basketball team at Bowling Green (KY) High School.

 “I want to play softball and basketball in college. This tournament gives all of us good exposure”.

Thank You For Your Service: Chief Victor Hugo Moreno

Chief Moreno

Chief Moreno

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- After 24 years of dedicated service to the United States Navy and years of helping to preserve our freedom, Chief Victor Hugo Moreno, 42, will retire on Friday, July 18. Moreno dedicated his life to the service at the young age of 18, and due to being away for work he missed the birth of his four children, their first steps, their first day of school, and the birth of his first grandchild; however, he will not get to spend time with them, who are all now adults.

Prior to his military days, Moreno and his family moved to California from Mexico in 1976 and settled in San Bernardino in 1984. He then graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1990, and from there he joined the Navy. After his basic training he went home and married his wife the former Conna A. Turner.

During his years of service he served as a Logistics Specialist where he completed two Western Pacific Deployments (WESTPAC) “91-92” and “93”. In October of 1994, he transferred to his first Shore Duty at Naval Sub Base Pt. Loma, San Diego.  Picked up SK2 during this time, but more importantly his youngest son, Emmanuel A. Moreno, was born.

In July of 1997 he reported to PCD (Pre Com Detachment) Pearl Harbor and in January of 1998 he went to Avondale, New Orleans along with his crew to take the USS PEARL HARBOR (LSD-52), a Harpers Ferry class Amphibious Assault Ship, from the shipyard. It was there that he completed two more  WESTPAC’s, “00” and “01-02”. He also finished his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification (ESWS) during this time, and was meritoriously promoted to SK1 under the Command Advancement Program (CAP) in Jun of 2001.

Moreno has received several awards for his service, which include the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), Good Conduct Medal (seven awards), and various unit and campaign awards.


Preparing your finances for the holidays

Rudy Maldonado

Rudy Maldonado

By Rudy Maldonado, Vice President and Branch Manager (MUFG Union Bank, N.A.)

Every year, it seems stores start playing holiday music and decorating earlier than the year before.  By mid-summer, most national monthly magazines have already completed their special holiday issues, and many financial advisors agree that this a good time to start saving for the holidays.  Whether you are setting a gift budget, making travel plans or scheduling a holiday party, you’re more likely to have a realistic view of your finances and stay within your budget when you aren’t under the pressure of a tight deadline.  In addition to preventing a post-holiday spending hangover, getting an early start on your financial holiday planning may also allow you more time to enjoy the season. Here are some suggestions to consider:

Make a list and check it twice

Develop a list of the people you usually buy gifts for during the holidays.  Next, make a list of items you normally buy this time of year, such as greeting cards, contributions to charitable organizations, holiday meals and traditions, travel and entertainment.  Take inventory of what you already have – wrapping paper, decorations, stored gifts, etc.  Consider selling surplus items online or at a yard sale for extra cash to add to your holiday budget or savings.

Develop a budget and save

Once you’ve taken inventory, determine the maximum you can spend on each item to help determine your budget and the amount you will need to save over the next few months.  It might be helpful to look through last year’s receipts or billing statements to get an idea of how much you spent.  Developing a spending plan before you begin shopping may also help you avoid impulse buying.

To help boost your holiday savings, establish automatic transfers or have part of your paycheck deposited into a targeted savings account.  You might also consider additional seasonal work to bring in more cash, or cut back on your everyday spending.  If you’re still coming up short, early preparation will allow you time to manage the expectations of your family and friends accordingly.

Shop early and take advantage of sales

We all know that seasoned gift giver who completes his/her holiday shopping by September.  Start comparison shopping now for gifts, and keep an eye out for coupons and online deals.  Look into high-demand items that might be more expensive and difficult to obtain during the holidays, and make those purchases when you have the available cash.  It may also be prudent to take advantage of end-of-summer sales, Thanksgiving or Black Friday specials and other opportunities to save.

Keep track of purchases

Keep your holiday gift list handy by considering a smartphone application such as Santa’s Bag-Christmas Gift List (available through the AppleApp StoreSM) that helps manage gift recipients, shopping and budget lists.  Designate a secure spot in your home or garage where you can store gifts and other items, and if you also get a jump on wrapping, be sure to label each gift for easy identification.

Get crafty

Giving handmade gifts can help save on your holiday budget, and starting now will give you plenty of time to get crafty.  For example, if you have a green thumb, planting an inexpensive bulb in the fall will often provide you with a beautiful blooming plant to give in time for the holidays.  For other DIY ideas, there are numerous resources online.

Book travel early

Fares often increase closer to the holidays, so try to book airline and hotel reservations in advance for potential savings.  You will generally get a lower rate if you purchase at least 21 days in advance, so do some research now.  Check with your employer or organizations you may belong to, such as AAA and AARP, to explore travel discounts, or visit online travel sites that might also help you save.

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about preparing financially for the holidays and is not considered financial or tax advice.  Please consult your financial or tax advisor.

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A

Rudy Maldonado is a vice president and branch manager of MUFG Union Bank, N.A.’s, Coronado Branch.  MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States.  We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial, retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers.  The bank also offers an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal trust, capital markets, global treasury management, transaction banking and other services.  With assets of $106.7 billion (USD), as of March 31, 2014, the bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks.  MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥258 trillion (JPY) or $2.5 trillion (USD)1, as of March 31, 2014.  MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. have corporate headquarters in New York City.