College sports doctors under new scrutiny amid scandals

first_imgFILE – This combination of photos shows Dr. Richard Strauss, left, from a 1978 Ohio State University employment application, and Michigan State doctor Dr. Larry Nassar, right, during a Nov. 22, 2017 plea hearing in Lansing, Mich. Ohio State is investigating accusations against Strauss, a former team physician at the school, only months after Nassar was convicted and imprisoned for molesting women and girls. Some schools are exploring whether more oversight is needed for figures in such powerful positions. (Ohio State University and AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)Allegations of sexual abuse carried out over decades by team physicians at Michigan State and Ohio State are sending ripples through university athletics departments, with some schools exploring whether more oversight is needed for figures in such powerful positions.The scandals involving former Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar, who was also a physician for USA Gymnastics, and Richard Strauss, a former Ohio State doctor, reveal how the trust and intimacy granted to team physicians can also provide cover for sexual predators.ADVERTISEMENT Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Asplund, at Georgia Southern, said both cases appear to stem from physicians who became too powerful within their institutions, but he doesn’t see it as a sign of deeper problems in the industry.“The Nassar cause and the Strauss case were unfortunate, but they were outliers,” he said. “I hope we don’t hear about anything more.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The National Athletic Trainers’ Association responded by issuing new guidance to members, telling them how to identify abuse. Trainers are also being told to report misconduct to legal authorities first rather than university officials, who in some cases have been accused of keeping accusations quiet.Some colleges, though, say it’s too soon to make changes. At Iowa State University, athletics officials said they’re “following the national conversation” to see if updates are needed. Others declined to comment, including the universities of Michigan and Illinois.Both recent cases have cast light on a role that typically operates behind the scenes but can still carry great power. Decisions made by team doctors can shape an athlete’s career, determining how long they’ll be out with an injury or whether they’re even fit enough to make a team.That power, coupled with the familiarity they often develop with younger athletes, creates a dynamic that is ripe for abuse, said Dr. Saul Marks, a sports psychiatrist at the University of Toronto.“Athletes are especially vulnerable at this age. They’re looking for guidance and growth, and so the intensity in the relationships can be stronger,” said Marks, who has also served as a doctor for Canada’s national diving team. “As people become closer, boundary crossings can become easier to slide into without realizing what’s happening.”When abuse does occur, the risk tied to reporting it is often enough to silence victims whose athletic careers hang in the balance, said Sue Ann Van Dermyden, the head of a California law firm that helps colleges investigate sexual misconduct.“They recognize by bringing it forward, their dreams could be shattered,” she said.In April, a state investigation in Michigan found that Nassar twisted the power and privacy of his job for abuse. Over time, he convinced gymnasts that his vaginal “treatments” had a medical purpose. And with no chaperone policy, there was often no one there to question it.Details at Ohio State are still emerging. An outside firm has been hired to investigate complaints against Strauss, who was a team doctor in the 1980s and ’90s and died in 2005. The school says men from 14 varsity sports have brought allegations of sexual misconduct, but officials have declined to elaborate.An Associated Press review of Ohio State employment records also revealed that Strauss worked at five other universities, including Harvard and Rutgers universities. Most of them would not say if they are reviewing his time there or whether any concerns were raised about him. 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 Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial PBA D-League: Batangas-EAC loses lead, hangs on to beat AMA Taal victims get help from Kalayaan towncenter_img Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s safety for the patient and safety for me,” Asplund said. “I think people are becoming a lot more protected and a lot more cautious about doing the right thing.”News of the Nassar case prompted leaders at the University of Wisconsin to launch a wide review of their own practices, including safety measures guiding team doctors. Officials declined to share details, saying the study has yet to wrap up.Athletic trainers, who work alongside team doctors and treat minor injuries, have also been alarmed by the allegations. In the Nassar case, two trainers were reportedly told of Nassar’s abuse but failed to stop it.Moffit, at Idaho State, said she’s adding lectures on sexual abuse and is helping other colleges develop their own training, which she says has long been overlooked in a male-dominated field.“It’s something that is going to be talked about a lot more. There’s just so much education that has to be done,” she said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina “It’s almost this god figure that people don’t want to question,” said Dani Moffit, who leads a master’s program in athletic training at Idaho State University and researches sexual harassment in college sports. “They are thought to be these people who are not going to make mistakes.”Groups that represent team doctors say it’s hardly the only profession shaken by sex scandals, and they largely blame the recent cases on a couple bad seeds. Still, the fallout has left some doctors and colleges scrutinizing their practices.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSome are ramping up the use of exam chaperones — medical staff who are brought into the room to monitor the doctor’s work. Purdue University says it’s crafting a new policy requiring chaperones for team doctors, even if students don’t request one. Michigan State updated a similar policy last year.Physicians, too, are increasingly bringing in chaperones for their own protection, said Dr. Chad Asplund, president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. In his work at Georgia Southern University, Asplund said, he has become more diligent about calling for a chaperone any time he examines a female athlete or asks a patient to remove clothing. 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NCAA: Mocon sparks San Beda to fourth straight win

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The Cardinals, meanwhile, failed to follow its win over Arellano last Tuesday and slipped to 2-3.Warren Bonifacio, who is in his rookie season, unleashed a career-best 19 points in the loss. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next San Beda kept a clean slate as it thumped Mapua, 88-70, in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Kai Sotto shrugs off hype, vows to work harder in Fiba Asia U18 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 Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial beginscenter_img Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Javee Mocon turned in a season-best performance, finishing with 22 points and 16 rebounds to finally end his slump and help the Red Lions get their fourth straight win. Previous to this outing, Mocon was only averaging 11 points and 8.7 rebounds. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“It was a total team effort but Javee stepped up big in this game,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.Donaldo Tankoua had 12 points and seven rebounds while Robert Bolick wound up with 11 points and eight assists. MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk View comments Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Peza offers relief to ecozone firmslast_img read more

AG defends losing streak

first_imgState judgementsThere have been several criticisms of the State’s performance in Court as regards several legal matters that were recently lost, causing the Government to have to pay out millions of dollars.In this regard, Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, Basil Williams, in defending himself and team, has asserted that he has won more cases than he has lost.Williams noted that many of the cases that he is likely to win have not yet come up for hearing in Court.He said on Monday that while his predecessor, Anil Nandall, has been critical of his work as Attorney General, Nandlall had himself done a poor job when he had held the Attorney General position for several years.Making reference to some issues inherited by the now Government, Williams said: “So there is nothing to show that Nandlall accomplished. What did he accomplish? Nothing! Let’s deal with the successes. If he is talking about the successes, that is one narrow aspect of the Ministry of Legal Affairs. I haven’t done any cases as Minister which Mr Nandlall won,” he explained.The AG was referring to the Constitutional case challenge wherein a citizen has sought the court’s interpretation of the provisions in the Guyana Constitution regarding the two-term limit for Guyana’s presidency, among several other top cases which are still pending.“For example, the Local Government Elections that were held… instead of filing an elections petition, he filed some other procedure; so there is no way he could win it, but it’s not coming up,” the AG added.Further, the AG reminded that the heads are not necessarily physically present for every case, but are represented by lawyers within the Chambers. “We have a number of lawyers. We have a Solicitor General and we have provisions for a Deputy, and you have a Principal Legal Advisor…the whole gamut. And these persons are those that represent the State and the AG Chambers,” he explained.The AG boasted that his Chambers had won several cases, but he was not able to provide substantiating evidence to support this claim.The AG also made known to the media that, as a private lawyer, he would have won several top cases. He said, “I’ve won so many cases in the assizes, there’s no other person sitting in this country in this current generation (who) could say that. But the DPP never came to the assizes and dealt with a case I was in…”Late last year, President David Granger came out in support of Williams, contending that the court cases he had lost were due mainly to inadequate representation by his legal team.He added that there are other cases which are pending, and the AG, like some other Ministers, has to make internal changes in the Ministry in order to get the best quality legal representation.“I do not feel that in the past we had the best representation. Some of the cases which we inherited were lost before we started because the representation was inadequate,” President Granger had said.However, in 2017, it was reported that $100 million had been included in the Legal Affairs Ministry’s budget for the retention of six attorneys to prosecute a number of high-profile cases.Government has, since its assumption to office, lost several cases at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and in the local courts, to Opposition members, large companies, and even private citizens.President Granger had, in 2016, given the occupants of the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC) 48 hours to vacate the premises of Red House. This directive was described as “unconscionable and vindictive”.The Opposition later secured two conservatory High Court Orders blocking the State from ejecting the CJRC from the property, once the official residence of the late former President Dr Cheddi Jagan.Another case involved a number of farmers who were granted 50-year leases for State land located in the rear of Number 40 Village, West Coast Berbice. In March of 2016, those farmers received letters from the Mahaica/Mahaicony Abary/Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) informing them that President David Granger had cancelled their leases, and they must cease occupancy and return the land to the MMA/ADA.A group of the farmers filed a lawsuit, and on the same day as the Red House judgment, the acting Chief Justice, Madam Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire, ruled against the President’s revocation of rice farmers’ land leases, deeming it unconstitutional. She also ruled that the farmers were entitled to compensation from the State amounting to the sum of $300,000.Other cases included a $1.5 billion settlement with Demerara Distillers Limited over taxes, and the Chief Justice’s ruling in the Guyana Elections Commission matter, where a private citizen moved to the High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the President’s reasoning in regard to the chairman’s appointment.While the Court acknowledged that the President can determine who fits the bill of “fit and proper”, the Chief Justice overruled the President’s interpretation of the Constitution by finding that there was no particular preference for the appointment of persons who had served within the Judiciary.last_img read more

Resource Municipalities Coalition represented at B.C. Natural Gas Symposium

first_imgThe symposium will examine challenges and opportunities as B.C. develops a new LNG industry. The newly formed coalition is an outcome of a discussion last month about forming a umbrella group to represent municipalities in Northeast B.C.,  managing the huge growth expected in the natural gas and other resource industries over the next decade.Mayor Lori Ackerman will provide information on some of the key challenges and impacts municipalities in the Northeast will face as the industry grows in our community.“The role of municipalities in supporting the natural gas and other resource industries in the Northeast is to provide affordable homes, adequate education, good healthcare, other vital services and recreation facilities for families to enjoy,” Ackerman states. “Our coalition will work cooperatively with all our partners to ensure the proper comprehensive regional planning occurs that will guide development of municipalities and regional infrastructure.”- Advertisement -Ackerman adds, “When we look at what’s coming in the natural gas sector along with projects like B.C. Hydro’s Site C dam and more growth in forestry, mining and other resource sectors, our new coalition can’t begin comprehensive regional planning soon enough.”Senator Richard Neufeld, an honorary member, was B.C.’s longest serving Minster of Energy before joining the senate. He’s responsible for many of the programs that have led to the development of B.C.’s shale gas industry over the past decade, and says municipal planning is a critical part of the development process.“Resource municipalities provide 95 per cent of the services to local residents, industry, rural residents and First Nations,” says Neufeld. “It is critical for municipalities tin the Northeast to plan and prepare properly for the decade of development that is coming soon and the thousands of new workers and their families that will call the region home.”Advertisementlast_img read more

Didier Drogba can still change games for Chelsea, says Cascarino

first_imgFormer Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino says bringing Didier Drogba back to the club isn’t a sentimental move, and the Ivorian can still win matches for the Blues – albeit from the bench.Speaking with Georgie Bingham and Micky Quinn on the Weekend Sports Breakfast, Cascarino explained the logic behind the move.“I don’t think Mourinho has just gone for sentiment and is bringing Didier back for no reason. I think it’s pretty clear that he’s not going to be first choice. What he wants is from the bench, someone he thinks can replace Costa because he wants to play a certain style. Players who come in need to do a job that’s required for the way the team has set up,”“You might only get 20 minutes, 30 minutes from him, but I think he’ll be very effective. Certain matches can be won in the last 20 minutes, and certain players can have a big impact and effect on the team. Jose looks at Didier and thinks that’s what his job will be.”Cascarino feels Drogba’s impact will also be felt further down the line in the coaching of other strikers at Stamford Bridge.“These are smart people. Roman Abramovich is a very smart man and Jose has proven that he’s a smart coach. Forget the emotion, if they didn’t think that Didier could come back and do a job for the team, and further down the line in coaching and nurturing the strikers, he wouldn’t be there.”“Clubs don’t just do this for a favour because you’ve been a legend. If they love you that much but think you can’t do the job then you’d be up in the boxes, in the stands on a Saturday afternoon. That’s how football clubs are, but they feel there’s much more from Didier in the playing sense and also in the players he could improve.”last_img read more

John Terry absence ‘not a problem’ for Chelsea, insists Blues star

first_imgGary Cahill is confident Chelsea can cope in the absence of injured captain John Terry.The 35-year-old missed Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League last-16 loss at Paris St Germain with a hamstring complaint, which could yet keep him out of Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie with Manchester CityTerry’s next appearance will be his 700th for Chelsea, who maintain a contract offer might be forthcoming after the defender revealed he would be leaving Stamford Bridge when his deal expires at the end of the season.With Kurt Zouma also absent due to a season-ending knee injury, Cahill partnered Branislav Ivanovic at centre-back and the pair performed well, despite PSG ending the Blues’ 12-match unbeaten run.“I played with Iva in the Premier League and in the (2013 Europa League final) and was successful, so I don’t see it being a problem if John’s not available,” Cahill said on espnfc.com.“Ideally we would have everyone available, all our strongest players.“Let’s see with John. But I’ve played with Iva in big games before, so I don’t see it being a problem.”Edinson Cavani earned PSG victory in the first leg at Parc des Princes as the teams met in the Champions League for a third straight season.Away goals have proved the difference in the last two years – Chelsea won the quarter-final tie in 2014 and PSG advanced to the last eight 12 months ago – and John Obi Mikel hopes his strike can be decisive in the March 9 return leg at Stamford Bridge.The midfielder’s sixth goal in 358 Chelsea appearances cancelled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s free-kick opener, which deflected off the Nigerian, before Cavani struck.“I think it’s going to prove a big goal,” Mikel told Chelsea TV. “Hopefully the goal that puts us through in the tie.“If we can get 1-0 back home, we’re through. I think we’re still alive.”Chelsea’s away goal might have come sooner only for a Diego Costa header to be well saved by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.“I think we deserved more, we deserved to get a draw or win the game,” Mikel added.“We came out here to play football and I think we’ve done that. I think we put in a very good performance.“We defended when we had to and played when we had to. It was a very difficult game, but one we really did well in.“We had Iva to play centre-back and Gaz (Cahill), who has not been playing for a while. They did fantastically well.“First goal, big deflection from me. The second goal as well, I don’t know… After the first goal we came back strong and got the equaliser.”Ivanovic reckons Chelsea must keep a clean sheet to advance.“We all hope (Mikel’s goal) is going to be massive for us,” the Serbia defender said.“(But) we have to concentrate. We know we have to play defensively a perfect game at home to go through.”Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a number of fine saves before being beaten by Cavani and PSG may rue not adding to their tally.Ibrahimovic is confident they will go through if they can repeat their display in London – sentiments echoed by midfielder Blaise Matuidi.“We played really well,” Matuidi told the club’s official website.“Perhaps we can regret not getting that third goal, but we are more disappointed with conceding that goal just before half-time.“We won this first round, even if that Chelsea goal is a potential danger, but we know we are good enough to qualify.” Gary Cahill 1last_img read more

KFO calls on Creed to focus on Brexit and withdraw mackerel review

first_imgThe Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed to focus all his energies on protecting Irish fisheries ahead of Brexit and to immediately withdraw a flawed mackerel sharing review on which important time and resources are being squandered.UK Fisheries Minister, George Eustice has already claimed that British fishermen will catch hundreds of thousands of tonnes more fish after Brexit while Ireland, which shares 47 out of its 50 Total Allowable Catches (TAC) with the UK, stands to lose catastrophically from an EU without Britain.Some 31% of 2015 Irish catches come from UK waters with the two main species for Irish fishermen, mackerel and nephrops, requiring anything from 40% to 60% access to British fishing grounds. With Irish seafood exports to the UK worth in excess of €71million annually and the shared resource which the fisheries sector uniquely represents between both countries, the Irish fishing sector is perilously positioned as the high-end negotiations around Brexit continue apace.Speaking ahead of a ‘Seafood Sectoral Civic Dialogue’ on Brexit to discuss the potential impact on Irish fisheries, KFO Chief Executive, Seán O’Donoghue said with the unprecedented and particularly demanding challenges presented by Brexit, it’s even more baffling why a ludicrous review is playing out in tandem with this issue causing unnecessary distraction. He called for the Irish Government to make fisheries a top priority in the negotiations around Brexit and to ensure that the sector is not used as a bargaining chip in reaching a final outcome. Given the importance of the negotiations, he questioned why a wholly unnecessary review was being undertaken into mackerel quota in the first instance.He added that this review into the distribution of additional mackerel is pitting different producer organisations against each other at a time when Ireland needs to be focused on the Brexit issue more than ever. The KFO has always believed that the course of action being adopted by Minister Michael Creed is fundamentally flawed and endeavours to penalise the Refrigerated Seawater (RSW) sector in a disproportionate and unfair manner.“It could see the fishing industry in the North West deprived of more than €10million of a mackerel catch in 2017. It’s since come to light that the scientific advice used to calculate the 2017 TAC was erroneous meaning a sizeable cut of 13% on the 2016 catches rather than the 14% increase it had previously advised. Aside from the obvious embarrassment of such a mistake in estimating stock size, it has created huge uncertainty for our members who are trying to run businesses and provide employment. “We will be writing to Minister Creed to inform him in no uncertain terms, that we will not stand idly by and allow hard-won quota to be taken from us when we have endured a 15% cut in mackerel quota last year and now the prospect of further reductions in light of the revised scientific advice. We will be formally asking him to withdraw the review in light of these developments while also underlining that there was no basis whatsoever, other than parochial, for the review in first place.Mr O’Donoghue continued, “when an increase in the Irish mackerel quota was mooted, the Minister appeared open to the idea of making it available to 27 vessels in the polyvalent sector who have a mackerel entitlement for no reason other than purely parochial.“If that were allowed to happen, it would result in the loss of jobs at sea in Donegal as well as employment ashore in the highly developed pelagic industry in the North West. Moreover, it ignores the fact that those 27 vessels who stand to benefit from this ludicrous review have already been boosted by a mackerel tonnage percentage increase of 750% since the year 2000,” concluded Mr O’Donoghue.The Irish RSW fleet in Killybegs has invested heavily in specialised vessels which has played a major role in developing a mackerel fishery in this country and establishing a credible track record in catching mackerel prior to introduction of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quotas system in 1983. Without this excellent track record, Ireland’s current 21.2 % percentage share of the western TAC would probably be only in the region of 1% to 2%.KFO calls on Creed to focus on Brexit and withdraw mackerel review was last modified: February 1st, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalKFOKillybegsMACKERELlast_img read more

RYAN TUBRIDY GETS A ‘SPECIAL’ WELCOME IN DUNFANAGHY

first_imgRTE star Ryan Tubridy was greeted by a huge crowd this morning in Dunfanaghy as he broadcasted his live show from the town square.Tubridy is in Dunfanaghy as part of a special feature he’s doing on the Wild Atlantic Way. Tubridy received a warm welcome from locals yesterday evening and visited bars in the locality last night in which he played pool and pulled pints of Guinness! This morning, a massive crowd greeted Tubridy with cafe’s and shops in Dunfanaghy opening early to accommodate the RTE star and the crowds in attendance.Tubridy was also presented with a Donegal speciality in the form of two litre bottles of McDaid’s Football Special and Smooth Banana.Local café Muck ‘N’ Muffins presented him with a personally made mug to celebrate his visit to the scenic seaside village. #wildatlanticway RYAN TUBRIDY GETS A ‘SPECIAL’ WELCOME IN DUNFANAGHY was last modified: June 10th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:EntertainmentFeaturesnewslast_img read more

Union asking judge to extend MTA decree

first_imgThe Bus Riders Union asked a federal judge on Wednesday to extend a decade-old consent decree against the MTA for five more years, claiming the transit agency has failed to do enough to ease crowding on buses. In a statement, the BRU said 95 percent of the bus routes it monitored had an average of eight riders standing, in violation of the consent decree. But Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say their surveys show they are in compliance 98 percent of the time. “We believe we are in full compliance with the consent decree,” said MTA spokesman Marc Littman. “The BRU can say whatever it wants, but the fact is that we have spent $1 billion to improve services.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Over the last decade, the agency has added more than 2,000 buses and kept bus rider fares low. But the BRU maintains that these services and fares are in danger as fiscal woes mount and the MTA looks for ways to close a $112 million budget deficit. “We are concerned that this sets up the conditions for MTA to claim the only way to balance the budget in the future is to make bus riders pay with service cuts and fare increases,” the BRU statement said. The BRU is asking the court to extend the consent decree until 2011. Currently, there is no one monitoring compliance issues. Special master Donald Bliss resigned earlier this year, and the federal judge overseeing the case declined to appoint a replacement. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more