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APNewsBreak: Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

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PNP comment: Things change. Time marches on. But, this is a sad one. — Editor Liz Bowen

U.S. News and World Report

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will end ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ in May, following a 146-year run

Jan. 14, 2017, at 11:51 p.m.

 

By TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press

ELLENTON, Fla. (AP) — After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.

The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

“There isn’t any one thing,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses this season and will perform 30 shows between now and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born. The sprawling troupes traveled around America by train, wowing audiences with the sheer scale of entertainment and exotic animals.

By midcentury, the circus was routine, wholesome family entertainment. But as the 20th century went on, kids became less and less enthralled. Movies, television, video games and the internet captured young minds. The circus didn’t have savvy product merchandising tie-ins or Saturday morning cartoons to shore up its image.

“The competitor in many ways is time,” said Feld, adding that transporting the show by rail and other circus quirks — such as providing a traveling school for performers’ children— are throwbacks to another era. “It’s a different model that we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price. So you’ve got all these things working against it.”

The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967. The show was just under 3 hours then. Today, the show is 2 hours and 7 minutes, with the longest segment — a tiger act — clocking in at 12 minutes.

“Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” he said.

Feld and his daughter Juliette Feld, who is the company’s chief operating officer, acknowledged another reality that led to the closing, and it was the one thing that initially drew millions to the show: the animals. Ringling has been targeted by activists who say forcing animals to perform is cruel and unnecessary.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime opponent of the circus, wasted no time in claiming victory.

“After 36 years of PETA protests, which have awoken the world to the plight of animals in captivity, PETA heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times,” Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a statement.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, acknowledged the move was “bittersweet” for the Felds but said: “I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts.”

 In May of 2016, after a long and costly legal battle, the company removed the elephants from the shows and sent the animals to live on a conservation farm in Central Florida. The animals had been the symbol of the circus since Barnum brought an Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882. In 2014, Feld Entertainment won $25.2 million in settlements from groups including the Humane Society of the United States, ending a 14-year fight over allegations that circus employees mistreated elephants.

By the time the elephants were removed, public opinion had shifted somewhat. Los Angeles prohibited the use of bull-hooks by elephant trainers and handlers, as did Oakland, California. The city of Asheville, North Carolina nixed wild or exotic animals from performing in the municipally owned, 7,600-seat U.S. Cellular Center.

Attendance has been dropping for 10 years, said Juliette Feld, but when the elephants left, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. Paradoxically, while many said they didn’t want big animals to perform in circuses, many others refused to attend a circus without them.

“We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Bros. was getting to see elephants,” she said. “We stand by that decision. We know it was the right decision. This was what audiences wanted to see and it definitely played a major role.”

The Felds say their existing animals — lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas — will go to suitable homes. Juliette Feld says the company will continue operating the Center for Elephant Conservation.

 Some 500 people perform and work on both touring shows. A handful will be placed in positions with the company’s other, profitable shows — it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live, among other things — but most will be out of a job. Juliette Feld said the company will help employees with job placement and resumes. In some cases where a circus employee lives on the tour rail car (the circus travels by train), the company will also help with housing relocation.

Kenneth Feld became visibly emotional while discussing the decision with a reporter. He said over the next four months, fans will be able to say goodbye at the remaining shows.

In recent years, Ringling Bros. tried to remain relevant, hiring its first African American ringmaster, then its first female ringmaster, and also launching an interactive app. It added elements from its other, popular shows, such as motorbike daredevils and ice skaters. But it seemingly was no match for Pokemon Go and a generation of kids who desire familiar brands and YouTube celebrities.

“We tried all these different things to see what would work, and supported it with a lot of funding as well, and we weren’t successful in finding the solution,” said Kenneth Feld.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

THERE is more to the article:

http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-01-14/apnewsbreak-ringling-bros-circus-to-close-after-146-years

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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“God Bless The USA” Singer To Perform At Concert For Trump’s Inauguration

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PNP comment:  Hooray for Lee Greenwood! — Editor Liz Bowen

 

Breitbart.com

By Christine Rousselle

Posted: Jan 13, 2017 10:55 AM

“God Bless The USA” singer Lee Greenwood is set to perform at the “Make America Great Again!” welcome concert on January 19, the eve of the inauguration.

Other acts for the concert will be announced a later date.

During the primaries, Greenwood appeared and sang at a Marco Rubio rally.

So far, there have been three other confirmed acts at the inauguration. Jackie Evancho will sing The Star-Spangled Banner, and the Rockettes and Mormon Tabernacle Choir will also perform.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2017/01/13/god-bless-the-usa-singer-to-perform-at-concert-for-trumps-inauguration-n2271079

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Christmas I remember best: My worst Christmas was one of my best

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By Ray Palmer and Tricia Fuhriman

For the Deseret News

Editor’s note: As told to Ray Palmer’s granddaughter, Tricia Fuhriman

Christmas of 1945 started out as one of my worst. In retrospect, I am grateful for the lessons I learned, and it has become one of my best.

March of that year I departed America as a Marine aboard a naval transport ship assigned as a Japanese code intercept operator. I left behind my pregnant young wife and toddler son. Just as most of the world was experiencing, my life was uncertain and torn apart. I felt pride for my cause and righteous indignation for the great enemy — the Japanese.

After spending a few months in the South Pacific islands, our ships headed to Japan. On Aug. 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped, followed a short three days later by the second. Our mission that started out with the intent of invasion turned to occupation. Our fleet arrived at Japan’s Sasebo Bay in September. The next few months, we labored tracking down the remainder of the entrenched Japanese forces.

News from home was slow to arrive. The due date for my new baby had come and gone. It was six weeks after her birth that the happy news finally came, I had a new baby girl. She and mother were doing well. Being separated from my family was difficult. My conditions were uncomfortable and I still had a great amount of frustration toward the Japanese.

Christmas Day arrived. It was chilly, cold and desolate in Nagasaki. It was time for the greatly anticipated Christmas feast. My division headed off to the mess hall with visions of turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes. Much to our dismay they had run out of food! We were handed more K-rations instead. I felt hard-pressed to be so neglected on Christmas.

To our relief, high command became aware of our circumstances. Additional food was gathered and prepared. Later that evening, we returned to the mess hall. This time there was the scent of juicy turkey, rolls, gravy and all that made it feel like Christmas.

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After eating our fill we began to file out, back into the cold and dark. As we went to dump our food trays in the bins, we were met with the hollow but anxious eyes of several Japanese citizens, including children. They were dirty, poorly dressed (most without anything to cover their bare feet). They tentatively and humbly collected what scraps of bones or potatoes they could, in an effort to sustain life.

These poor people were not the great enemy I had come to fight. They were a beaten, destitute and hungry people. I had pitied my situation without realizing how truly blessed I actually was. I was separated from my loved ones, but I knew they were safe and secure and had the necessities of life. I knew we would be reunited. My current situation was not ideal but, I had three meals a day, a warm dry bed and security. I knew a great future lay ahead of me.

The realization of the immense suffering of these people humbled me and changed my outlook on life. A calm came with realizing these people were not my enemy but fellow human beings with families and heartaches. The feelings of fear and hatred were replaced with love and compassion. Under the direction of great American leaders, the soldiers rallied to help rebuild the Japanese communities and ease the suffering as much as possible.

Every Christmas I take a moment to ponder on this experience. The memory of what I learned becomes dearer to me each year. The Christmas of 1945 has become one that has meant the most in my life.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865669813/Christmas-I-remember-best-My-worst-Christmas-was-one-of-my-best.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Boy’s best friend: Dog is ‘guardian angel’ for Sunset classroom

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Deseret News.com

@DaphneChen_

CLEARFIELD — It’s before the crack of dawn. The grass is crunchy with frost and the small brick house is the only one with its porch lights on, casting an eerie glow on the sidewalk.

Britton Voss, a skinny 12-year-old with a shuffle in his step, boards the bus.

A wavy-haired golden retriever boards with him. He is Dopey — Britton’s seizure response dog.

Britton, an energetic boy who loves hugs and Star Wars, has a rare form of epilepsy that causes seizures and developmental delays. As a service dog, Dopey is trained to help Britton by comforting him, fetching medicine or even calling 911 while he’s seizing.

But Dopey also has another ability — one that has baffled scientists and brought the staff at Britton’s school to tears.

Dopey appears to be able to predict Britton’s seizures, often hours before they actually happen.

“You hear about man’s best friend, but there’s something beyond special about the bond between a service animal and who they’re loving and providing for,” said Sunset Junior High special education teacher Melissa Lovell.

“Dopey is an extension of (Britton),” she added. “That’s his whole world. That’s his life source.”

At home or at school, at day or at night, as soon as the vest is on, boy and dog are one.

The first time

Lovell was stunned the first time Dopey gave her an “alert.”

A quiet soul with velvety ears and “chocolate chips for eyes,” in the words of one of Lovell’s students, Dopey spends the vast majority of his days laying quietly at Britton’s side.

One day about two months ago, however, he began panting, licking and nudging Lovell’s pregnant belly, more agitated than she had ever seen him.

About an hour later, Britton began seizing.

“I looked at (my lead aide), and we just both looked at each other like … ‘That is unbelievable,’” Lovell said.

They have a process for seizure alerts now. Lovell clears the other students from the room, places Britton in a safe position on his beanbag and make sure she has the medication she needs in case she needs to intervene.

For the most part, there’s little they can do besides allow the seizure to happen and make sure Britton is safe.

Once Britton starts seizing, Dopey will lick his face until he “comes out” of the seizure, Lovell says. Afterward, Dopey usually cuddles Britton as he naps.

 “When you actually witness and see the whole thing from alert to the end of the seizure, it’s almost difficult to describe,” Lovell said. “You don’t want to use the term beautiful for something like that, but to see an animal actually communicate with you and then take a kid out of a seizure …”

“It was unbelievable,” she continued. “You wouldn’t even believe it if you didn’t see the whole thing from beginning to end.”

But that wasn’t the first time Dopey detected a seizure in class.

Months before he ever detected one of Britton’s, Dopey started picking up on another student in Lovell’s class — one who has even more frequent seizures than Britton.

Dopey has predicted seizures in that student more than 10 times, according to Lovell.

Britton’s mom, Dawn Voss, said Dopey has never given a false positive, either at home or at school.

“He’s their little guardian angel, I guess you could say,” Voss said. “They’re his boys to watch over.”

Unbreakable bond

Sunset Junior High Assistant Principal Matt Christensen said administrators were initially “apprehensive” about having a service dog in a classroom.

Although not unheard of, service dogs for students as young as Britton are not common.

“Once we saw how effective Dopey is at helping not only Britton but the other student, there’s no question the dog has been a huge help,” Christensen said.

Dopey has been an asset for the entire class, which is a functional skills class for students with moderate to severe disabilities.

“If somebody’s having an issue or behavior … I will say, ‘Just look at the dog. Everything’s OK,’” Lovell said. “His presence in the room is enough to bring some of our students down — and that is a fact.”

Lovell, who is 36 weeks pregnant, jokes that Dopey will alert her that she’s going into labor before she feels the first contraction.

But there’s no doubt that Dopey’s No. 1 mission is Britton. Dopey, the gentle guardian and constant companion, rarely takes his eyes off of the boy.

If Britton goes to the bathroom, Dopey goes too.

If Dopey needs to go potty, there goes Britton.

They are together from the moment they board the bus until school ends around 2:55 p.m., and they are together at night, sleeping together in a bedroom filled with Star Wars posters.

“Thank God for Dopey,” Lovell said. “It really truly is like having another member of the team.”

Voss said she used to worry about Britton getting bullied.

Because children with Dravet’s syndrome have a significantly higher risk of Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) — which often happens at night — she also worried every time she tucked him in for bed.

Now, knowing that Dopey is by Britton’s side “gives me a sense of comfort, especially at night when he’s sleeping,” Voss said. “Now, it doesn’t bother me.”

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http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865669915/Boys-best-friend-Dog-is-guardian-angel-for-Sunset-classroom.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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The California Democratic Party: The Ghost of Confederates Past

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PNP comment: Extremely enlightening and right on brother! — Editor Liz Bowen

Townhall.com

Arthur  Schaper
|
Posted: Dec 19, 2016 12:01 AM

Republican Donald Trump is our new President. Barring any shenanigans from the Electoral College, 306 electors will have cast their ballots for a pro-American, pro-business, anti-globalist conservative dedicated to protecting our freedoms.

Not everyone in the Union is happy. Democratic strongholds have vowed to resist the Trump Administration at every turn. California and its supermajority Democratic hegemony are particularly dedicated to the proposition that the liberal elites know better and should not have to answer to the vox populi of Middle America, who believe that all men are created equal and that the government should be limited.

Governor Jerry Brown has sworn to build a wall around California. Janice Hahn of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has advocated the same, all in the name of protecting the illegal aliens within the state. The Democratic legislature’s two leaders have vowed to fight the federal government at every step. The faint hint of secession hangs in the air, too. California liberals have lined up initiatives so that voters can decide if they want to leave the United States or not. A #Calexit lingers on the horizon, and there’s enough Silicon Valley money to advance the proposal to a vote.

What a bunch of pansies. After the election of the first Republican President in 1860. the South Carolina (Democratic) legislature  disdained a national plebiscite—they simply drafted a resolution and announced to the federal government: “We’re leaving!” Ten states followed. Then followed the Civil War. After five years of bloodshed, Democratic policies failed, not just at the ballot box but in fields of battle all over the country.

Indeed, the California Democratic Party of today is resurrecting the same arrogant, defiant, yet dying spirit of the Ante-Bellum Southern Democratic secessionists. They are the weaker, fainter vestiges of a dying Confederacy, a state unto itself convinced of their own intelligence, disdainful of federal authority and constitutional principles. Even though California’s Democrats recently banned displays of the Confederate flag on state property, thy spirit of modern slavery, aka socialism, is strong with them.

And the parallels are more striking than that!

The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and secession. Rich plantation owners refused to give up their “peculiar institution”, which had guaranteed them free labor, cheap products, and slanted trade deals in international markets. Today, the Democratic Party colludes with Big Business to welcome millions of illegal aliens into the country for cheap labor. The California Democratic Par’s other ally, Big Labor, forces workers into syndicates to take their money and expand the unions’  power. That sounds like a lighter form of slavery to me. Both special interests uphold and fund the California Democratic Party today.

How did the Democratic Party of 1860 intend to solidify its power? They engaged in voter fraud on a massive scale. Throughout the Southern states, not one ballot listed Abraham Lincoln as a potential presidential candidate. Today, in dominant Democratic regions like the inner cities, voting machines automatically turn Republican votes into Democratic ones. Dead people vote, too!  And like the political machines which followed the Civil War, Democrats depend on buying votes with other people’s money, whether for graft or gain, through subsidies or welfare. Today, California is the welfare capital of the United States, welcoming one third of the country’s public assistance dependents.

Malapportionment—in which House Districts represent fewer  people than designated –guaranteed a set number of unaccountable federal representatives to enrich the Ante-Bellum Democracy. Since slaves counted as 3/5 of a person for representation, Southern states maintained a stable number of representatives, even though the same individuals who counted could not vote. Today, Democrats count on the surging population of illegal aliens to buttress their numbers and increase their unjust hegemony in the federal government. A recent case before the Supreme Court could have determine whether allocation of House reps and electoral votes should depend on the actual population in district, or the number of lawfully designated voters. If apportionment of House Seats depended on actually voters (living and legal), Democratic numbers would drift below 100 seats.

Unreal!

Let’s not forget that the Democracy of the 1860s was an elitist fringe dedicated to protecting the limited interests of Big Business at the expense of the common man. Before the Civil War, they lined up their votes to protect plantation owners—who screamed the loudest and beat up opponents.

Democrats then and now have not changed on other key issues. The rule of law means nothing to them. The rule of sentiment and of the “landed gentry” makes all the difference. He who has the gold makes the rules, not the other way around. Constitutional niceties are meant to be ignored. They had their social justice warriors, too, who attacked anyone who disagreed with them (recall South Carolina representative Preston Brooks who savagely thrashed free-soiler US Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a cane.)

Democrats then and now relied on racism and division to consolidate power, and they depended on an uneducated class of adherents to further their agendas. After all, Southerners ensured that black slaves could neither read nor write. Today, in Democratically-dominated inner cities all over the country, residents not only cannot find jobs or opportunity, they are systematically denied a proper education to take advantage of any opportunities—if any of them were made available.

Now for the good news: The Democracy is at its lowest ebb since the Republicans freed the slaves, and more voters are fleeing the modern day Democratic plantation. The California Democracy cannot stand against liberty, nor stand in the doorway preventing the next generation from learning the truth about this country’s grand history and future.

The temper tantrums of the café latte-sipping California elites will be but a whimper compared to the guns fired on the fields of Gettysburg a century and a half ago. And indeed this country will witness a new birth of freedom, and that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/arthurschaper/2016/12/19/the-california-democratic-party-the-ghost-of-confederates-past-n2261265

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California Chrome to bid his home state goodbye

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Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome to a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Arcadia, Calif. California Chrome will run his last California race on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome to a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Arcadia, Calif. California Chrome will run his last California race on Saturday at Los Alamitos. Mark J. Terrill The Associated Press

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PNP comment: Guess I am a Chromie, but unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this race. Drats and double drats!!!  I haven’t followed this horse and didn’t realize what a fabulous career he has had.  Go for the gold” California Chrome.  — Editor Liz Bowen

December 15, 2016 2:29 PM

California says goodbye to its favorite racehorse Saturday when California Chrome makes his final start in his namesake state in a stakes created for him at Los Alamitos Race Course, his home for almost three years.

America’s all-time richest thoroughbred, California Chrome will be a prohibitive favorite versus nine challengers in the $180,000 Los Alamitos Winter Challenge, which will be the 5-year-old superstar’s first and only start at the Orange County track.

“He’s trained here for some of his biggest races,” said trainer Art Sherman on Thursday. “He’s always liked it here; he should relish the track Saturday. … All he has to do is come over from the barn.”

With earnings of more than $14.4 million, California Chrome will use this Los Alamitos farewell as a tune-up for the new $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park in Florida and a possible rematch against Arrogate, who narrowly beat Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5.  Following six consecutive victories, that loss was Chrome’s only defeat of 2016.

“Two days after the Classic, he was ready to get back to work,” Sherman said. “He was ticked off after getting beat.”

The Pegasus should be Chrome’s final start before his retirement to Kentucky’s Taylor Made Farm, which now co-owns the popular chestnut with Perry and Denise Martin of Yuba City.

Best known for quarter horse racing, Los Alamitos has wanted to showcase its most famous resident for a long time, but the track hosts only five weeks of thoroughbred racing a year. To help fill the Winter Challenge field, the track guaranteed $10,000 to all starters; the winner earns $50,000. Stakes winners Point Piper and Avanti Bello lead the opposition.

To be ridden by Victor Espinoza, Chrome starts from post 10 and carries high weight of 126 pounds. No place or show wagering will be offered. Post time is 4:28 p.m. with TVG offering live television coverage.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to have a worldwide star like California Chrome make Los Alamitos Race Course his home base for the past three years,” said Brad McKinzie, the track’s vice president and general manager. “For us to have the opportunity to see our hometown hero, California Chrome, race at Los Alamitos, it’s like an early Christmas present.”

“Chromies,” the horse’s devoted fans, are expected to turn out in force.

“They’re expecting a huge crowd,” Sherman said. “I’m just hoping the weather stays OK.”

Sherman noted that Chrome has not competed on a sloppy track. Although rain was expected Friday, Saturday’s Orange County forecast calls for sun and temperatures in the high 50s.

“It would have to be a really bad track for us not to run,” Sherman said. “Right now, we’re focusing on running.”

Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075, @debarrington

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/article121160423.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Beaver walks into Md. store, finds only artificial Christmas trees, and proceeds to trash it

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The Washington Post

December 1 at 8:46 AM

In St. Mary’s County, Md., at least one badly behaved beaver is ready for holiday shopping.

The beaver was apprehended at a dollar store in Charlotte Hall, Md., the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, apparently after browsing the selection of artificial Christmas trees and trashing the place.

(St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office)

(St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office)

The “suspect attempted to flee the area,” as the sheriff’s office put it in a statement, but it was apprehended by animal control and released to an animal rehabilitator — hopefully not just to be released into the wild, but to be taught basic shopping etiquette.

“All joking aside, the beaver was safely rescued by animal control and released to wildlife rehabilitation,” authorities tweeted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/12/01/cute-beaver-trashes-store-after-holiday-shopping-in-maryland/?utm_term=.b93531328b47

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Original ‘Gerber Baby’ celebrates 90th birthday

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The baby food maker said Ann Taylor Cook celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday.

Cook was about 4 months old in 1927 when her image was sketched in charcoal by family friend, Dorothy Hope Smith.

The drawing was submitted to Gerber a year later when Gerber put out a call for images to be used in its new baby food advertisements.

“She wrote me (later) that she had thought it was kind of unfinished, and if they liked it she could finish it properly,” Cook said of the sketch in an interview with WFLA-TV. “But they were smart enough that they didn’t want anything done to it.”

Cook’s picture became the company’s official trademark in 1931.

“The logo is the essence of who we are,” David Yates, vice president of Gerber’s North America operations, told WFLA. “It is the epitome of a happy, healthy baby and the symbol of trust we have with parents. It’s everything to our company.”

Cook became a mother of four and taught literature and writing in Tampa, Florida, for 26 years before retiring in 1989.

For the photo of then and now, go to: — and scroll down —

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/23/original-gerber-baby-celebrates-90th-birthday.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Happy Thanksgiving — may we remember why we celebrate!

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Thanksgiving 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

 

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray

We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing

We’re slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold

But Lord, I’d like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I’m thankful for

For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head

I’m thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they’ll ever possibly know

Thankful Lord, that You’ve blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life’s greatest treasure

That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I’m ever so grateful for Your unending grace

So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You’ve provided
And bless each and every person invited

Amen!

 

Thanksgiving Prayer

Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You’ve done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son.
For beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.
So today we offer this response of praise
With a promise to follow You all of our days.

PNP comment: Thank you, Debbie Bacigalupi, for sending us these great reminders! — Editor Liz Bowen

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3 questions and 3 myths about the Americas before Columbus arrived

Enjoy

PNP comment:  In honor of Columbus Day — Editor Liz Bowen

Deseret News

Where are the oldest mummies in the world? Though many people would say “Egypt” the right answer is the Chinchorro mummies of Peru and Chile.

Where is the largest pyramid in the world? Again, many people would say “Egypt” but the right answer is The Great Pyramid of Cholula in Puebla, Mexico.

Where was one of the largest cities on earth in 1520? Startlingly the answer is Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, with a population of several hundred thousand.

The answers to these and many other questions about the Americas before Columbus are tantalizingly and generally not known to most people.

Thoughts about what the Americas were like before Columbus are often dominated by myths. However the reality is far more interesting.

Myth 1: The New World was essentially uninhabited when Old Worlders arrived.

Reality: The New World may have been populated with as many as 100 million people before Columbus. Old World diseases may have wiped out 95 percent of the population.

Myth 2: New World humans never created long-term sustainable civilizations.

Reality: Two of the world’s oldest independently developed civilizations emerged in the Americas: Ancient Mesoamerican civilization (which is typically well-known) and the lesser known, but much older, Norte Chico civilization on the Peruvian coast. Each of these American civilizations developed agriculture, stratified society, monumental buildings, and forms of recording keeping.

Myth 3: New World humans never altered the North and South American landscape.

Reality: Evidence exists in both North and South America of long-term and deliberate management of the land. As the Amazon rain forest has fallen to modern development, startling evidence has emerged of hundreds of towns and villages connected by road systems, according to this article from New Scientist. That is, the Amazon rain forest had previously fallen to human hands in the past for the development of civilization. In Peru, there is extensive ancient terracing of hillsides. In North America, the Indians regularly burned forests to flush out animals, clear out vegetation and restart the vegetative life-cycle.

These myths and questions, and many others, are discussed and laid bare in the book “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” by Charles Mann.

Though originally published in 2005, Mann’s book “1491” is still essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the expansive, teeming realities of the human experience in North and South America before Columbus arrived. This book pays significant dividends for expanding one’s historical perspective and empathy for the realities of the New World before Columbus.

Taylor Halverson holds Ph.D.s in biblical studies and instructional technology. He is a BYU teaching and learning consultant. His website is at taylorhalverson.com. His views are his own.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865664275/3-questions-and-3-myths-about-the-Americas-before-Columbus-arrived.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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