first_imgAs photos and stories from Haiti continue to catch the public eye, students and professors on campus have undertaken various efforts to provide whatever help they can.Much of Haiti has been ravaged and hundreds of thousands left dead by the large-scale earthquake that struck last week. To honor those lost and to help those in need of aid, the USC Office of Religious Life hosted a vigil Tuesday and the Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism hosted a CrisisCamp volunteer session Sunday.Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles TimesStudents and community members came together Tuesday at the interfaith vigil.“The event was all about healing and grief, but it’s also about learning, and getting background,” said Rev. Jim Burklo. “Education is a big part of it; we want to get people interested in the history of the country as well as a spiritual response.”The vigil began with Varun Soni, the dean for the Office of Religious Life, who gave the audience of about 25 a brief recap of what occurred in Haiti and of the earthquake’s destruction and its effects.“Today we come together to support the people of Haiti and to support each other,” Soni said in his opening speech. “Today we bring together the spiritual and scholarly resources of our university in order to raise money and awareness for Haiti.”Allyson Salinger Ferrante, a graduate student who is working on her dissertation on Caribbean literature, followed with a poem by René Dépestre titled Ballad of a Little Lamp.“As students and members of a privileged community who have access to education among other basic things like food, clothes and shelter, we may feel that we are too small to really effect any change, but that’s not true,” Ferrante said. “Every dollar counts and the spread of information counts, and that doesn’t cost anything.”Students who attended the event said they felt it was important to show support as a group.“I think its important to unite our campus because a lot of us know people whose family members have been affected,” said Jillian Angeline, a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. “As the Haitian community is uniting, the students on campus should as well.”Erica Edwards, a senior majoring in English who attended the event, said she hopes other students understand what happened.“It’s important to take some time to reflect on Haiti, it’s really important to look at the larger picture and to see the world and see life globally as opposed to just our own life,” said Edwards. “It is important to make time for those who are in need. One day it could be us.”Beyond the vigil, faculty and community members met Sunday to use their technological skills to help the relief effort as part of CrisisCamp Haiti, a program hosted by Annenberg.More than 40 volunteers worked on various projects, including an open street map of Haiti and a family locator system. Others helped by translating messages into French and Haitian Creole.“The idea was just to get people together and see what we can do,” said Andrew Lih, the Annenberg faculty member who organized the event in Los Angeles. “It’s tough to figure out the impact of what is going on here in Haiti, but at least we can use the technology to help.”Lih said he is trying to organize another event but emphasized that volunteers should also undertake crisis-relief projects on their own.“Events like this are really time sensitive, and some people say that even waiting a week to meet is too late,” Lih said.last_img read more


first_imgFilipino boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao has repeated his opposition to homosexuality, after earlier apologising for saying that gay people were “worse than animals”.”What I am saying is right. I mean I am just stating the truth, what the Bible says,” he said at training in his hometown of General Santos.The boxer said his only mistake had been to compare people to animals.Nike ended its deal after his initial comments, calling them “abhorrent”.Mr Pacquiao had said during a TV interview that animals were better than gay people “because they can distinguish male from female”.His remarks were condemned across the world – including by gay basketball star Jason Collins and the boxer who defeated him last May, Floyd Mayweather. Mr Pacquiao then apologized on Facebook, saying he was sorry for hurting people and was “not condemning LGBT” but was still against gay marriage.But on Thursday, a Bible quote appeared on his Instagram account, reading: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”Local Filipino media captured a screenshot of the image before it was deleted and Mr Pacquiao’s staff in General Santos confirmed that the post had been published on the boxer’s account.However, Mr Pacquiao – still wearing his Nike sports gear – insisted the row had not affected him.”I’m happy. I’m always happy because God is with me,” he said. Mr Pacquiao intends to retire from boxing after his April fight against Timothy Bradley from the US, and will step up his career in politics.The boxer, who has converted from Catholicism to an evangelical Protestant faith, has said he wants to be president.Homosexuality is not a crime in the Philippines, but gay marriage is against the law in the strongly Catholic country.last_img read more


first_imgI was called misinformed, mistaken and mislead when I had a very strong and vociferous difference of opinion with the Steelers concerning the future employment of Mendenhall and Sweed. To the best of my recollection; Mendenhall was passed over in the first round of the same draft by the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys. It is also known that for quite some time Ben Roethlisberger had been pining for a six foot four plus size wide-out along the size of ex-Steelers and current NY Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress who was his favorite guy to throw the “fade” to anywhere on the field but especially when the black and gold reached the ‘red zone’.Why oh why would any team of the Steelers tradition draft a running back with far less than a Heisman Trophy mention especially when they had a running back (Willie Parker) who had proven that if you gave him a crack, he would give you a mile. Pittsburgh had also just lost offensive guard Alan Faneca to free agency and had some serious O-line discrepancies to address. My suggested draft sequence for the Steelers for the 2008 draft was; offensive line, first round, defensive line, second round, offensive line, third round. Ladies and gents please press your fast forward button and stop at the year 2011, buck, buck, buck, buck, bucka. The chickens have come home to roost.The Steelers lost to the Houston Texans 17-10. The defense gave up 17 points on the road to a very good Houston team, 17 lousy points. Big Ben seems to hate “check downs” and short passes. Is he deliberately not calling the alternate plays just so that he may continue on the “road to glory?” Or is he leading the offense down the “road to gory?” Roethlisberger continues in many failed attempts to go “deep” and while doing so is slowly drowning the offense in the shallow water of his enormous ego. Does he have other play calling options and if so is he ignoring them? Something tells me that there is trouble in the Steelers camp and if there isn’t it should be. Was the team’’ plane ride back to Pittsburgh filled with turbulence that originated from sources beside the aircraft?Head coach Mike Tomlin should have shouted so loud and sprayed saliva so wide that Bruce Arians and Roethlisberger should have been victims of ruptured ear drums and the “Cowher syndrome.” These are the risks of dealing with a pissed off head coach that occasionally require players and subordinate coaches to be on the receiving end of the headmaster’s wrath requiring them to wear hearing aids and gauze face masks.Roethlisberger reminds me of an old story that my grandfather told me when I thought I was being “slick.” Once a farmer heard a ruckus in the chicken coop. He arrived at the chicken coop. switched on the light in the henhouse and heard a faint sound, he asked a question. He said, “hey is there anybody in here?” Nothing but silence. Then he heard the fox saying in a soft voice, “ain’t nobody in here but us chickens.” The farmer looked around, spotted the fox, walked up to the fox, put his shotgun in his mouth and said, “you ain’t no chicken.” The fox replied, “yes I am chicken, that shotgun got me scared as heck.”The moral of the story is that Roethlisberger has raided the Steelers henhouse of millions, crowing like a rooster but really being a fox. I know, I know, this week and beyond everyone will be gushing on how courageous Big Ben is for taking a licking and keeping on ticking but the majority of the time the beating may be self inflicted. Big Ben is playing head games with the media and the public.There is nothing courageous about sitting in the pocket for 3-4 seconds trying to complete a 25 yard or longer pass when you can complete a 10-15 yard pass in 1 ½ -3 seconds. There is no glory in short passes, but the chains keep on moving. When Roethlisberger gets sacked or throws a pick, the yellow finger pointing is directed at the offensive line. If he would get rid of the ball in a timely fashion, he could have O-lineman from the peewee leagues and still complete a significant percentage of his pass attempts if he would just take what the defense gives him.Time and time and time again, I have said that there is some skullduggery jumping off in the Steelers camp but until someone speaks out, it will be business as usual.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@new­pitts­burghcourier.com) I said it once and I am going to say it again. Each draft pick in the NFL is vital. It might not appear so from the outset but two or three years later, if GM’s and player personnel directors are not careful; “the chickens may or may not come home to roost.” Ex-Steelers wide receiver Limas Sweed was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2008 draft, right after Pittsburgh signed the “great” running back Rashard Mendenhall in the first round.last_img read more


first_imgFacebook12Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Westport WineryWestport Winery’s Roberts family has again collaborated with Johnny and Darlene Camp of Opal Art Glass in Cosmopolis. Together they designed and crafted a hand-blown glass lighthouse for Shelter From The Storm, the first true port-wine crafted by winemaker Dana Roberts.The new bottle is a scale replica of the winery’s lighthouse. Wine club members and their guests were treated to the unveiling of this unique bottle on Sunday, May 22, in the winery’s event pavilion. Winery co-owner Kim Roberts said, “We have the westernmost vineyard in Washington State, so we made sure the architecture and theme of our business reflected our incredible coastal community. That’s why we built a 40-foot lighthouse as part of our tasting room.”Like all of their wines Shelter From The Storm benefits a local charity. A portion of the proceeds from Shelter is donated to the Grays Harbor Hospital Foundation. Since they opened in 2008, the Roberts family has contributed over $300,000 to local charitable organizations.Photo Credit: Molly Bold, Portrait ExpressionsThe wine’s label features an original watercolor by Tokeland artist Wally Mann. Additionally, each wine is commemorated in the resort’s gardens with a sculpture by a local artist. They Shelter sculpture was also created by Opal Art (as are two other sculptures in the park). The two companies continue to produce their popular “Float” bottle, designed to resemble a Japanese fishing float.Westport Winery Garden Resort is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. The winery (including the restaurant, bakery, nursery and gardens) is open daily and offers lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.last_img read more


first_imgBy Jay Cook |HOLMDEL – An accord struck last year by Holmdel’s all-Republican governing body calls for an annual rotation of its elected officials to govern from the mayor’s seat, allowing for a fresh approach on the best way to manage the 18-square-mile town.In the 2018 calendar year, the mayoral office has shifted to Thomas Critelli.A five-year committeeman and first-time mayor, Critelli thanked his Republican counterparts both sitting beside him and in the audience for the opportunity to serve as Holmdel mayor for the next 365 days. Newly sworn-in committeeman Rocco Pascucci was unanimously voted in as the deputy mayor for 2018. Former mayor Greg Buontempo was also sworn in as a committeeman for his third term.“During last year’s reorganization, we discussed rotating the mayor’s seat each year, which was something this committee had not done for some time,” Critelli said, moments after being sworn in by former Holmdel mayor and Assemblywoman-elect Serena DiMaso. “I’d like to extend a special thank you to Mayor Greg Buontempo for allowing us to honor that commitment.”After his first mayoral speech, Critelli told The Two River Times that the agreement to elect a different mayor every year from within the unified governing body will benefit Holmdel.“It’s more about getting fresh ideas,” Critelli said, while also adding he’ll still collaborate with the four members on the township committee. “I think the public thought we were getting a little stale and maybe not moving as rapidly as we needed to – a little change is all.”Critelli is a 27-year Holmdel resident who owns three small businesses with his wife, Mary, in northern New Jersey. Critelli is a certified public accountant and is the president and founder of Danitom Development, a real estate development company. He also owns a manufacturing company and a convenience store, he said.Critelli believes that background and experience can only benefit Holmdel as he takes over the mayor’s seat.“I like to see things get done, not bureaucratically slow things down. The town can be bureaucratic in its thinking because of some of the people that have been here for long periods of time who like to do things at their pace,” he said. “We hope to be able to kick-start that a little bit and get things moving, sort of like a small business.”In his address to residents in attendance, the new mayor said there’s much to look forward to “in a truly exciting time in Holmdel township.”Critelli said the governing body will focus on continuing the relationship with Somerset Development, owners of the 473-acre Bell Works site just a mile from town hall; keep the municipal tax rate flat for residents; look to expand recreational activities for all residents; and engage in “aggressively rebuilding” faulty roads and infrastructure in town.Finding more recreational opportunities for Holmdel residents has been a recent goal for the governing body, Critelli said. The township committee authorized the creation of an ad hoc recreational committee early last year; a report compiled by the committee and a consultant will be provided to residents by the end of the month, he said.“We’re going to release that information and hopefully be able to exercise and move on some sort of aggressive improvements at the recommendations of the committee,” he said.Critelli also spoke about improving emergency service communications in the township. He said Police Chief John Mioduszewski was inquiring about new systems for his officers.Also on tap for 2018 will be a decision regarding Holmdel’s affordable housing obligations. The township will have a fairness hearing before a Superior Court judge in Freehold later this year with the Fair Share Housing Center, a group which litigates in favor of low-income housing throughout the state. Critelli declined to go into detail considering the pending litigation, but did say, “I expect it to be resolved sooner rather than later.”Since it is his first term as mayor, Critelli told residents he’d rely upon his current and former colleagues for guidance if needed. Committeemen Greg Buontempo and Eric Hinds are both former mayors, as are DiMaso and Monmouth County Freeholder-elect Pat Impreveduto, last year’s deputy mayor in Holmdel.“There’s an enormous amount of knowledge from the mayors that have come before me,” Critelli said. “I don’t like to go into anything blind, so I can rely on them for the right way to approach something.”This article was first published in the Jan. 4-11, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more


first_imgON TRACK CROWD OF 38,647 WITNESS 78TH RUNNING OF WEST COAST’S PREMIER DERBY PREPBy BETH HARRISAP Racing WriterARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Dortmund towers over his competition, standing the equivalent of 5-feet, 8-inches tall. He’s pretty imposing on paper, too.The chestnut colt romped to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, keeping him unbeaten at 6-0 heading into next month’s Kentucky Derby.“It’s good to see this horse just really developing the way he has from his first start,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said. “I just love the way he ran.”Dortmund led all the way in running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.73 under Martin Garcia and paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in the six-horse field. Baffert earned his record seventh victory in the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby.“When we bought him he looked like a really good horse, but he was just a big horse and sometimes they don’t turn out,” Baffert said. “He’s a big, long-legged horse. When he made the lead and when he gets by himself like that, he’ll idle on you a little bit, so he had to keep going.”Dortmund bobbled slightly coming out of the starting gate in the No. 1 post _ a spot Baffert detests _ but he quickly went to the lead and kicked clear leaving the final turn.“Even though he’s won all his races, he’s still learning,” said Garcia, who won his first Santa Anita Derby. “He can play around a bit when someone comes to him. When I ask him to go, he becom s push-button and he just takes off.”Dortmund joins his sire Big Brown (3-0) and Barbaro (5-0) in taking an undefeated record into the Kentucky Derby. Big Brown won the Derby in 2008 and Barbaro did so in 2006.At 17 hands, Dortmund stands taller than the average thoroughbred, which can measure anywhere from 15 to 17 hands, with a hand being equal to 4 inches.One Lucky Dane, also trained by Baffert, returned $4.80 and $2.80, while Bolo was another 2¼ lengths back in third and paid $3 to show. Prospect Park was fourth, followed by Cross the Line and Bad Read Sanchez.Dortmund earned 100 points for the victory, moving him into second place on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the May 2 race.One Lucky Dane was running just 16 days after returning from a 4½-month layoff with a victory on March 19. He moved into 16th on the Derby leaderboard and will head to Churchill Downs, too.“He qualified in Bob Baffert’s eyes,” the trainer said. “I don’t need 40 points.”Baffert’s other top horse, American Pharoah, will run in next weekend’s Arkansas Derby, giving the white-haired trainer a third shot at winning the Kentucky Derby for the fourth time in his career.“I can’t believe I’m so fortunate to be in this position with two outstanding 3-year-olds,” he said.In other stakes:_ Stellar Wind rallied to win the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks by 5 1/4 lengths under Victor Espinoza. The 6-5 favorite ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.26 and paid $4.40 to win. Trainer John Sadler said he plans to run the filly in the Kentucky Oaks on May 1._ Even-money favorite Gimme Da Lute won the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths for Baffert. Ridden by Garcia, the 3-year-old colt ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.64 and paid $4 to win._ Spirit of Xian won the $151,750 Providencia Stakes by a neck under Joe Talamo. The filly ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.10 and paid $35.60 to win.last_img read more