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Marines’ ban on large tattoos irks grunts

first_imgOCEANSIDE, Calif. – Five tattooed skulls stretch from Marine Cpl. Jeremy Slaton’s right elbow to his wrist, spelling out the word “Death.” He planned to add a tattoo spelling “Life” on his left arm, but that’s on hold because of a Marine policy that takes effect Sunday. The Marines are banning any new, extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee, saying such body art is harmful to the corps’ spit-and-polish image. Slaton and other grunts are not pleased. “I guess I’ll get the other half later,” grumbled the 24-year-old leatherneck from Eden Prairie, Minn. “It’s kind of messed up.” For many Marines, getting a tattoo is a rite of passage. They commonly get their forearms inscribed to remember fallen comrades, combat tours or loved ones, and often ask for exotic designs that incorporate the Marine motto, Semper Fi, or “Always faithful.” Dozens of Marines from Camp Pendleton, the West Coast’s biggest Marine base, made last-minute trips to tattoo parlors in nearby Oceanside before the ban kicked in. “This is something I love to do,” said Cpl. David Nadrchal, 20, of Pomona, who made an appointment to get an Iraqi flag and his deployment dates etched onto his lower leg. “The fact I can’t put something on my body that I want – it’s a big thing to tell me I can’t do that.” Nadrchal said he is unsure whether he will re-enlist: “There’s all these little things. They are slowly chipping away at us.” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway announced the policy change last week. “Some Marines have taken the liberty of tattooing themselves to a point that is contrary to our professional demeanor and the high standards America has come to expect from us,” he said. “I believe tattoos of an excessive nature do not represent our traditional values.” The ban is aimed primarily at “sleeve” tattoos, the large and often elaborate designs on the biceps and forearms of many Marines. Similar designs on the lower legs will be forbidden as well. So will very large tattoos on the upper arm, if they are visible when a Marine wears his workout T-shirt. Small, individual tattoos will still be allowed on the arms and legs. Marines already tattooed are exempt from the ban but cannot add to their designs; anyone caught with fresh ink in the wrong places could be barred from re-enlistment or face disciplinary action. Getting a prohibited tattoo could constitute a violation of a lawful order, punishable by up to two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Brian Donnelly said. Unit commanders must photograph and document sleeve tattoos to ensure Marines do not add to their ink. The Marines and the other branches of the military already ban tattoos that could be offensive or disruptive, such as images that are sexist, vulgar, gang-related or extremist. The Army, which has been doing most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and is struggling to fill its ranks, actually relaxed its tattoo restrictions last year. Soldiers can now get ink on the back of their hands and the lower back of the neck. The Navy last year decreed that tattoos visible while in short-sleeve uniform cannot be larger than the wearer’s hand. The Air Force says tattoos should be covered up if they are bigger than one-quarter the size of the exposed body part. Tattoo artist Jerry Layton at the Body Temple Tattoo Studio in Oceanside said he was booked up with Marines rushing to beat the deadline. “These are guys that are dying in the war,” Layton said. “They can fight, but they can’t get a tattoo? It’s ridiculous.” 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

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4 vying for 2 seats on school board

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.As such, Schneider says, he has experience in crucial areas like finance, curriculum and personnel. And coming from a family that has been in Whittier since 1914, he says he feels “service to my community is an obligation. “I believe the most important relationship in education is the one between students, teachers and parents,” Schneider said. “My top priorities are to increase the focus on student achievement, increase articulation with the elementary school districts, and support artistic and academic excellence.” While Jacobs says one of the biggest challenges ahead for the district is a decline in student enrollment – which will lead to cuts in state funding – Carmona is more concerned with student standards and parent involvement. “I believe I can make more of an impact being a coach and parent,” said Carmona, who founded the nonprofit Whittier Baseball Club and whose son graduated from Whittier High. “I was a volunteer coach for seven years at the district, and I have more insight on how things work than most politicians do,” he said. “I would like to see teachers get paid more money, I’d like to see the (grade-point average) for sports go from 2.0 to 2.5, and mandatory hours for parent involvement.” WHITTIER – There’s always room for improvement – even at the Whittier Union High School District, where campuses have earned several kudos over the years for a rise in student achievement. At least that’s the opinion of four candidates vying for two open board seats at the 13,000-student district, which voters are being asked to fill in Tuesday’s elections. The Whittier Union board hopefuls are parent/coach Jesse Carmona, 48; businessman Harry Jacobs, 66; incumbent Ralph Pacheco, 52; and teacher Tim Schneider, 61. Schneider and Pacheco are the only candidates with school board experience, as Schneider was an elected trustee in the South Whittier School District for 18 years. Jacobs, who has 28 years of experience in education from high school to graduate school, owns a grant-writing business that he said may come in handy over the next few years when enrollment starts to drop. “We have faculty, administrators and a wonderful superintendent to lead us into an era of our history that is going to be very challenging,” he said. “I see greater diversity in our student body, smaller numbers coming into high schools, and increased academic challenges,” Jacobs said. “And we will continue to make this district one of the most outstanding high school districts in California.” Pacheco, an educational consultant, has been on Whittier Union’s board for 16 years. “As a community, we can be proud of our students and schools over the last four years,” Pacheco said. “Many persons have been involved in the success we’ve seen – the superintendent, the board, administrators, staff, teachers and community supporters. “And I’m pleased to share that our hard work has paid off for the kids,” he added. “Whittier Union is a dynamic district, and it prepares students for their future with a rigorous curriculum.” Schneider and Pacheco have received a slew of endorsements from local elected leaders, as well as a nod from the district’s teachers’ union, the Whittier Secondary Educators Association. Jacobs has also lined up numerous endorsements, including those of Whittier City Council members Bob Henderson, Owen Newcomer and Greg Nordbak, as well as Rio Hondo College trustee and Montebello Police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want 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

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Champions League final 2016: All the photos as Real and Atletico arrive in Milan

first_img The official match ball for Saturday’s showpiece event – Click the arrow, right, to see more pictures from Milan 8 Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo all depart the Real Madrid aeroplane 8 Gareth Bale has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 19 goals in 21 games Atleti manager Diego Simeone faces the media 8 8 The San Siro is all ready to host the final 8 Sergio Ramos scored the injury-time equaliser to take the 2014 final to extra time The curtain is coming down on yet another Champions League season with the final again being contested between Madrid rivals Real and Atletico.The two squads have arrived in Milan for Saturday’s showpiece event at the San Siro as Diego Simeone’s side look to avenge their 2014 defeat and claim the trophy for the first time.Atletico lost that game 4-1 in extra time as Real claimed ‘La Decima’ after they won it for a record tenth time.http://talksport.com/radio/how-to-listenhttp://talksport.com/radio/how-to-listenAs the festivities prepare to get underway, take a look at some of the pictures as both sides arrive in Milan by clicking the arrow above, right. Fernando Torres is aiming to win the trophy for a second time The Atletico squad arrive in Milan on their private jet 8 8 8last_img read more

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