Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sand Sculptors 2008

1st Place entry Revere, MA - June 26, 2008 - Congratulations to Carl Jara of Cleveland, Ohio! First Place winner again, back to back! With this year’s sculptures still in place, our artists are already mulling ideas to meet the even greater challenge that next year will bring. This year’s theme is “Heroes”, and there are a total of eleven artists competing for five places. First Place wins $3,500...all the way down to $200 for Fifth Place, with a few extras thrown in. Coordinator of this year’s Sand Sculpturing, Sean Fitzpatrick of “Fitzy Snowman” is a local from Saugus, Massachusetts. The sand was delivered last week from Hudson, New Hampshire, and the local Department of Public Works and state park Department of Conservation and Recreation moved the tonnage with two front-end loaders over a two-day period. Quite an achievement in and of itself! Sand sculpting has always been a thought provoking form of art attracting thousands of spectators. Thanks to all our volunteers, Lillian Guido and the Revere Beach Partnership, husband Jim Guido and the Revere Police Department, Revere’s Auxiliary Police, Department of Conservation and Recreation and Department of Public Works, the Massachusetts State Police, whatever other Departments I’m missing, our sculptors, artists and competitors, and most importantly, all of you…the Fifth Annual New England Sand Sculpturing Festival at Revere Beach was a huge success! Though turnout seemed iffy for some time, the thunderstorms that lurked in the distance steered clear, and didn’t seem to keep too many people away! One great addition to this year’s event was a carriage and wheelchair accessible mat that allowed for safety, and a chance for all to get a closer look. The impermanence of the medium provides a compelling factor drawing entire families to the sand sculpting festival with their cameras. Record-sized crowds, overwhelming levels of talent, famous vendors; Nantucket Nectars, Fuse, and 93.7 FM radio, and many more came to Revere Beach. With the music accompanied fireworks display that could knock your sandals off, we have become quite a success and have earned nationwide recognition! More and more families and friends from all over join us in the festivities each year, and the event continues to grow! Let’s reserve your spot in the sand for next year! Thousands of people came to Revere Beach to see the works of art sculpurted in the sand and to enjoy a great fire works display on Saturday night. Despite the huge crowd no arrests were made and the several minor medical aide calls were easily handled thanks to the combined efforts of the Mass State Police, Revere Police, Revere Auxiliary Police, Revere Fire Dept., and the DCR Park Rangers and staff. A special thanks to Cataldo Ambulance Service for their continued support to the City of Revere and public safety. I hope everyone will enjoy these photo's as much as I

Friday, June 20, 2008

NBA Champs 2008

The 131-92 win of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night ended a 22-year championship drought for Boston. But “drought” is a relative term here. On Thursday, they were treated like royalty in Boston, complete with the now obligatory Duck Boat tour and parade through the meandering downtown streets to celebrate their 17th NBA championship. (L-R) Legend Bill Russell, Ray Allen #20, Head Coach Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett #5,and Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics pose for a portrait with the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 17, 2008 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Go Celtics

2 down and 2 more to go for the sweep will they do it ? Paul Pierce's knee wasn't 100 percent. But he sure played like it was. Pierce fired off 28 points, including two key free throws with 22.8 seconds left as the Celtics held off a late comeback from the Lakers for a 108-102 Game 2 home win Sunday and a 2-0 series lead. For Pierce, you'd have never guessed he couldn't bend his knee all the way just two days prior. The good vibes from Game 1 kept flowing as he shot 9-of-16 and 4-of-4 from downtown on his way to a team leading 28 points. Since many of Pierce's outside shots were catch-and-shoots, the verdict is still out on his ability to physically elevate off the knee. Leon Powe, the Celtics' second-year power forward, scored 21 points in 15 minutes off the bench, pushing his team to a 108-102 victory over the Lakers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Powe nailed six of seven shots from the low post and garnered 13 free throws from his repeated assaults upon the basket. Over the course of the fourth quarter, with Bryant egging his team on, the Lakers slowly chipped away at the Celtics' sizable advantage, reducing it to single digits by the two-minute mark. The lead dropped to four with a minute remaining, but the Celtics had possession and time to draw up their next play. The best laid plans fell through, however, as Rajon Rondo subsequently launched an off-target jumper with the shot clock winding down. Bryant collected the rebound, and, drawing a foul from Paul Pierce on the other end, cut the lead to 104-102. Pierce then put the Celtics back up by four with two clutch freebies of his own. I can't help but wonder if Red Auerbach is watching from above and he is proud as he's ever been of his team. (Go Celtics)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Please take a moment to reflect on this day and remember all these brave men and women who gave up so much for this country. A patriotic ceremony honoring the service and sacrifice of America's military members is scheduled for May 26 at 11 A.M. in Arlington National Cemetery. This year's event, which marks the 140th observance of Memorial Day on these hallowed grounds, will be hosted by Major General Richard J. Rowe Jr., Commanding General of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknowns, followed by a remembrance ceremony in the Memorial Amphiteater. The event will commence with a prelude concert by the U.S. Army Band at 10:20 a.m. inside the amphiteater. Both ceremonies are free and open to the military community and general public. No tickets are needed to attend this event. For people interested in observing the wreath ceremony, space is limited to standing room only. Inside the amphitheater, seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The amphitheater can accommodate 5,500 people, but attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to the event. At 8 A.M. the cemetery gates open and a free shuttle service will begin transporting people from the visitors' center to the amphitheater. Attendees will be admitted into the ceremony site at about 8:30 A.M. "If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam Listed as KIA February 7, 1978

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Boston Marathon 2008

Kenyan great Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot etched his name into the record book of the fabled Boston Marathon yesterday with his epic fourth victory.
Cheruiyot, who won this race for the first time in 2003 before adding wins in each of the past two years, cemented a three-peat with a gutsy first-place time of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 46 seconds.
Running into a head wind, Cheruiyot finished 32 seconds off the course record he set in 2006. It wasn’t for lack of trying: He reached the 20-mile mark in 1:36:10, seven seconds under record pace, but running alone can often be the cruelest of foes.
Boston is very different from the other marathons, Cheruiyot said. As usual, the course was very difficult. Last year, we ran 2:14, and I tried to push harder this year to achieve my personal goal of running 2:07 or faster.
Dire Tune made a single definitive surge in the closest women’s race in Boston Marathon history.
The dynamic Ethiopian newcomer outkicked Russian veteran Alevtina Biktimirova across a 50-yard stretch of Boylston Street to win the women’s division of the 112th running of the 26-mile, 385-yard race.
The 22-year-old Tune broke the tape in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 25 seconds, just three strides ahead of Biktimirova, who crossed at 2:25:27. Tune’s finishing burst settled a grueling battle of wills that began 6.2 miles earlier at the base of Heartbreak Hill.
Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, who won the Boston Marathon in 2006, was third (2:26:34) while two-time runner-up Jelena Prokopcuka (2:28:12) of Latvia was fourth.
Even before I came to Boston, I was confident I could win the Boston Marathon, Tune said through her interpreter.
From the beginning to the end of the race, my training and performance helped me finish strong. Once I saw the finish line, I was certain I would finish first.
There was little need for Ernst Van Dyk to change the strategy he’s used in winning six wheelchair titles entering yesterday’s 112th Boston Marathon.
With clear, dry conditions, the only challenge the 35-year-old South African faced was the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in downtown Boston. Van Dyk never faltered as he reclaimed his position as the most dominant male wheelchair competitor in event history.
The powerful Van Dyk more than made up for last year’s disappointing third-place finish with his seventh title yesterday, finishing in 1 hour, 26 minutes, 49 seconds. Countryman Krige Schabort was a distant second in 1:30:39, while defending champion Masazumi Soejima of Japan finished third in 1:33:00.
Van Dyk, who owned the division with six consecutive wins between 2001-06, collected $15,000 for the victory. His win leaves him one short of female competitor Jean Driscoll’s wheelchair record of eight.
Wakako Tsuchida grabbed the lead early in Ashland and posted an easy victory in 1 hour, 48 minutes, 32 seconds in dry conditions. After third- and fourth-place finishes in 2002 and ’03,respectively, Tsuchida has suddenly become the woman to beat on the fabled 26.2-mile course.
I’ve always seen Boston as a very historic marathon, and that’s why I come,” said Tsuchida, a two-time winner of the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii. “It was windy, but there were a lot more people cheering. It was fantastic.
Much like Ernst Van Dyk’s victory on the men’s side, Tsuchida’s win never was in question. She led at every checkpoint, increasing her lead as the race progressed. She finished an amazing 7:46 ahead of runner-up Diane Roy of Canada (1:56.18). Cheri Blauwet, 27, of Palo Alto, Calif., was third (2:00:48).
There wasn’t one specific point where I knew I’d win,” she said. “I didn’t look back until I crossed the finish line. I didn’t worry about anybody else. I set my pace and stuck with it. I’ll definitely be back next year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Charles River Museum

I wanted to share a little history about my home town of Waltham Ma and maybe someone may want to see it if and when they are in Massachusetts.
In 1976, the Bicentennial issue of Life magazine declared that Francis Cabot Lowell's factory in Waltham was the fourth most important development to shape America.
Unfortunately, Lowell's factory was virtually dead when it received the honor. After 150 years of production, the historic facility was shuttered, neglected, and perilously close to demolition.
Luckily, the mill's fortunes soon turned. The site was granted status on the National Register of Historic Places. Waltham received a $10 million urban revitalization grant, which allowed the site to be renovated and preserved.
As part of the site's renovation, a group of cultural, civic, and business leaders created the Charles River Museum of Industry in what had been the mill's massive steam-powered engine and boiler rooms. Following a monumental campaign of fundraising, cleaning, building, planning, and installation, the museum opened its doors in 1980
The following important events took place here, and are the reasons this complex is a National Historic Landmark and important to the entire nation.
The FIRST time in the world that spinning and weaving were done in one operation under the same roof.
The FIRST power loom to be used in the United States.
The FIRST time in the United States young women were employed as the predominant workforce and paid cash for their labor.
The FIRST company-sponsored housing provided for employees.
The FIRST textile mill to be made of brick.
The Boston Manufacturing Company was the FIRST large successful manufacturing company in the United States. It raised more than $400,000 from investors to develop buildings and machinery. The BMC was the prototype of the modern corporation.
The FIRST industrial labor strike in the United States was in this mill in 1821. The protesters were women, and the issue was wages.
The FIRST time silk was woven by machine was in the 1890s in this mill.
If you are ever in the area this is a good place to spend a few hours and soak up a little history and also check out moody st. for it has many international restaurants.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iraq War Going For 5

A US military study officially acknowledged for the first time yesterday that Saddam Hussein had no direct ties to al-Qaida, undercutting the Bush administration's central case for war with Iraq. The Pentagon study based on more than 600,000 documents recovered after US and UK troops toppled Hussein in 2003, discovered "no 'smoking gun' (ie, direct connection) between Saddam's Iraq and al-Qaida", its authors wrote. George Bush and his senior aides have made numerous attempts to link Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terror in their justification for waging war against Iraq. Wary of embarrassing press coverage noting that the new study debunks those claims, the US defence department attempted to bury the release of the report yesterday. The Pentagon cancelled a planned briefing on the study and scrapped plans to post its findings on the internet, ABC news reported. Unclassified copies of the study would be sent to interested individuals in the mail, military officials told the network. Another Pentagon official told ABC that initial press reports on the study made it too politically sensitive. Five years after the United States invaded Iraq, plenty of people believe that the war was waged chiefly to secure U.S. petroleum supplies and to make Iraq safe -- and lucrative -- for the U.S. oil industry. We may not know the real motivations behind the Iraq war for years, but it remains difficult to distill oil from all the possibilities. That's because our society and economy have been nursed on cheap oil, and the idea that oil security is a right as well as a necessity has become part of our foreign policy DNA, handed down from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter to George H.W. Bush. And the war and its untidy aftermath have, in fact, swelled the coffers of the world's biggest oil companies. But it hasn't happened in the way anyone might have imagined. Instead of making Iraq an open economy fueled by a thriving oil sector, the war has failed to boost the flow of oil from Iraq's giant well-mapped reservoirs, which oil experts say could rival Saudi Arabia's and produce 6 million barrels a day, if not more. Thanks to insurgents' sabotage of pipelines and pumping stations, and foreign companies' fears about safety and contract risks in Iraq, the country is still struggling in vain to raise oil output to its prewar levels of about 2.5 million barrels a day. As it turns out, that has kept oil off the international market at just the moment when the world desperately needs a cushion of supplies to keep prices down. Demand from China is booming, and political strife has limited oil production in Nigeria and Venezuela. In the absence of Iraqi supplies, prices have soared three-and-a-half-fold since the U.S. invasion on March 20, 2003. (Last week, they shattered all previous records, even after adjusting for inflation.) The profits of the five biggest Western oil companies have jumped from $40 billion to $121 billion over the same period. While the United States has rid itself of Saddam Hussein and whatever threat he might have posed, oil revenues have filled the treasuries of petro-autocrats in Iran, Venezuela and Russia, emboldening those regimes and complicating U.S. diplomacy in new ways. American consumers are paying for this turmoil at the pump. If the overthrow of Hussein was supposed to be a silver bullet for the American consumer, it turned out to be one that ricocheted and tore a hole through his wallet. If we went to war for oil, we did it as clumsily as anyone could do. And we spent more on the war than we could ever conceivably have gotten out of Iraq's oil fields even if we had particular control over them, says Anthony Cordesman, an expert on U.S. strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who rejects the idea that the war was designed on behalf of oil companies. But that doesn't mean that oil had nothing to do with the invasion. In his recent memoir, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil. After I read this story I could not believe it but after more research I sure do now.