Talking Points: Coliseum closer to remodel

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland is one step closer to a renewed purpose.

The Portland City Council on Wednesday approved $2 million be spent so that architects and engineers can put a price tag on an upgrade the 50-year-old glass palace. The council plans to vote on the renovation in November.

If approved, some renovation work would start in February, with the bulk of it done next summer for a reopening in the fall of 2012.

Here are a few aspects of the project as presented during the council’s Wednesday discussion:

• Seating capacity for hockey would be about 8,000, about 3,000 fewer than now, with wider seats.

• The Winterhawks would be the building’s anchor tenant.

• Winterhawks owner Bill Gallacher has pledged to invest $10 million in the renovation.

2

Forget the Iowa straw poll. We have a poll that really hits home.

Tina Ellertson of Vancouver is among five players up for the Women Professional Soccer Defender of the Year award. The winner is determined by an online vote that closes at midnight on Sunday.

As of Saturday evening, Ellertson — who plays for the south Florida team magicJack — was leading the poll with about 49 percent of the votes. To vote, visit www.womensprosoccer.com/2011-doy.

3

Three cheers for the umpire!

Nick Haluschak from Vancouver called balls and strikes during the Little League Baseball West Region championship game on Saturday in San Bernardino, Calif. The game was televised by ESPN and attended by more than 10,000 fans.

It was a proud moment for Haluschak, and for his local peers who volunteer many hours so kids can play ball.

Haluschak is one of several area umpires chosen for major Little League tournaments this summer. Among them is Linda Newton, who is working the Little League Softball World Series in Portland.

Their commitment is something all of Southwest Washington should take pride in — and thank them for.

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