“I had half of mine broken and spent half the day … trying to put them back together,” Graham said, adding that some of his neighbors don’t have that option. “There’s a lady who lives a couple-three doors down who’s a widow who doesn’t get around very well,” he said. “I think it puts a terrible imposition on someone.” Dennis Weber, the Bureau of Street Services general superintendent, understands residents’ frustrations. But with a list of 340 locations that need sprinkler repairs, there’s only so much five plumbers can do. “There are many, many sprinklers that are broken,” he said. “If we had more plumbers we could probably do a quicker job.” But that doesn’t look likely any time soon. While sidewalk repairs are a property owner’s responsibility, city crews are responsible for fixing pathways damaged by city-owned trees. From 1978 to 2000, the city did not have a sidewalk-repair program. But in 2000, the mayor and City Council created one and budgeted $9million to repair 46miles of the most damaged sidewalks. The money available for sidewalk repairs has fluctuated annually since then, with $5.1million budgeted this year to repair 39miles of sidewalk. Much of that money is dedicated to a 50-50 program in which residents chip in with half the cost of sidewalk repair. But a tightening citywide budget means the Bureau of Street Services has to make do with the plumbers it has to fix the sprinklers that inevitably get broken by backhoes and root-trimming equipment during sidewalk repairs. City Councilman Tony Cardenas, who represents Graham’s area, said the sprinkler-repair wait is yet another frustration with the city’s massive backlog of sidewalk and infrastructure repairs. “It’s always a victory when a neighborhood sees a new sidewalk,” Cardenas said. “But the delays are frustrating enough without having to wait even longer for a sprinkler to be fixed.” firstname.lastname@example.org (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With the city facing an 80-year backlog, most homeowners would be happy to finally have their cracked and uneven sidewalks replaced. But some residents are grumbling because their lawn sprinklers get broken during the sidewalk project – and there’s an eight-week backlog for getting them fixed because the city has only five plumbers to do the work. Gary Graham learned about the sprinkler-repair backlog the hard way, when he returned last month to his Van Nuys home and found the moderately cracked sidewalk on Petit Street being repaired – and his lawn-irrigation system broken. Graham called about it, and he was told he could wait two months for a repair crew or fix the sprinklers himself.
In stark contrast to their Premier League form, where Liverpool have been beaten just once all season, Klopp’s men lost all three of their group games on the road against Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade to underline the importance of taking a lead to Germany for the second leg.Three wins at Anfield pulled them through to the last 16 and Van Dijk has yet to taste defeat in 25 Premier and Champions League games on home soil as a Liverpool player, keeping 16 clean sheets in the process to tighten up a leaky defence that undermined Klopp’s first two years in charge.“Straightaway he was organising the defence, he was the leader at the back, and as time has gone on he is even more important,” said former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia.“He gives confidence to the players and makes many other players play better.“It is very difficult to find a weakness. He is an ultimate centre-back.”Missing the £75 million man is a big enough blow, but Liverpool will also be without Joe Gomez and most likely Dejan Lovren through injury.Gomez underwent surgery on a lower leg fracture earlier this month, while Lovren has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury on January 7 and did not travel with the rest of the squad for a warm weather training camp in Marbella this week.– Lewandowski threat –A makeshift centre-back pairing of Joel Matip and Fabinho are therefore likely to be tasked with stopping another former pupil of Klopp’s — Robert Lewandowski.The prolific Pole won two Bundesliga titles under Klopp when the pair were together at Borussia Dortmund and also lost the Champions League final against Bayern in 2013 before Lewandowski was lured to Bavaria a year later.Bayern have been dominant in the Bundesliga since Klopp’s Dortmund won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, but are playing catch up in the title race to Lucien Favre’s outfit this season.“Of course over the years I have watched a lot of Bayern games and this season as well,” said Klopp.“They were six times in a row champions of Germany, which is not easy, and they were one of the teams in the last 10 years who were pretty much all the time in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, final of the Champions League.”However, while Lewandowski, the in-form Kingsley Coman and the creativity of James Rodriguez and Leon Goretzka could post plenty problems for Liverpool’s undermanned defence, it is at the other end Bayern could also be exposed.Ajax’s youngsters exposed Bayern’s weakness against pace in the Champions League group stages, while Bayer Leverkusen and Augsburg have also given Klopp extra encouragement in recent weeks in the Bundesliga.As Van Dijk kept the back door shut, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane fired Liverpool to the Champions League final last season.Without their talismanic defender, all three will need to shine more than ever to give Klopp’s men a lead to defend when Van Dijk returns for the second leg on March 13.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Fabinho (right) is expected to replace the suspended Virgil van Dijk (centre) for Liverpool on Tuesday © AFP/File / Paul ELLISLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Feb 18 – Fortress Anfield has become even more impenetrable for visiting sides in the 13 months since Liverpool made Virgil van Dijk the world’s most expensive defender, but the commanding Dutchman’s absence for Bayern Munich’s visit in the Champions League leaves Jurgen Klopp with a selection headache.Van Dijk is banned for the last 16, first leg on Tuesday after being booked three times as last season’s finalists squeezed through the group stages by the narrowest of margins thanks to more goals scored than Napoli.