|Every once in a while, we get a chance to change things we don't like. And if we care enough, and work really hard, we can change them for the better. That's why it's important to actively support the protection of planet Earth. It's the only home we've got. That sounds like common sense now; but we didn't always care as much about our environment. We've been downright careless at times. Fortunately, active citizens all over the world have made their voices heard and concern for the environment is becoming the prevailing global view. However, we must remain diligent. Do your part. Millions of small efforts taken together have tremendous impact that can change the world - and the way we choose to live in it - for the better. And that's our opinion.|
"STATE OF THE EARTH" REPORT RELEASED Global Watch Report has released the findings of a five year study to assess the condition of planet Earth. The report gives the planet a solid B for overall health. The only negative was the majority's findings concluding that the principal factor in global temperature increase was - as long suspected - the burning of fossil fuels. "Over the past 100 years of industrial production" states the report's conclusion, "vast amounts of carbon dioxide have been released into the Earth's atmosphere. This was never in dispute. Now, we can finally say we have proof that the steady accumulation of this key 'greenhouse' gas is the cause of the global warming we see today. We remain, nonetheless, cautiously optimistic about the future, given our ability to learn from our past."
[FROMTHE REPORT] The image above [click to enlarge] is of the Western Hemisphere. Note the storms raging off the west coast of North America and just below Greenland. Other prominent features include the sediments around the mouth of the Amazon River and the shallow waters of the Caribbean. [Photo Credit: NASA / GSFC / NOAA / USGS]
Controversy surrounded one of the scientists, Dr. Rodrigo Ruiz [pictured at left], the lone dissenting voice on the panel of twelve. Dr. Ruiz, who pioneered the use of advanced weather modeling techniques with supercomputers, has come out recently with some radical predictions. He says his studies suggest that the Earth is already polluted beyond our capacity to fix it. "It's only a matter of time," says the scientist who is now devoting his time to researching the feasibility of large populations living beneath the sea. "The oceans cover 70% of the planet, so there's more than enough room to go-around," he jokes, while deadly serious in the next sentence describing the coming temperature changes over the next few decades and their effect on global weather patterns. "But beneath the sea we'll be alright," he says. Dismissing as 'alarmist' Dr. Ruiz' theories, the panel's Chairbear, Dr. Grunwald Bruener, reminds all that "the Global Watch Report has issued a grade of B and this grade is final."
SPECIAL ELECTION OVER! Pictured at far left is Mayor-elect Pandora Xing accepting congratulations from Carmel-by-the-Sea's resident sleuth, Basil Baker. Pandora's victory meeting with Basil Baker is of special comfort and reminder to all Carmelites of the most suspenseful news story on the Monterey Peninsula this past year. Deputy Mayor Pandora was forced to act in the top spot after the disappearance of Carmel's beloved, long-time mayor, Flint Westfield. Basil Baker solved the case and recovered, unharmed, the mayor, who had spent two weeks 'exploring' Big Sur. Shortly thereafter, Mayor Westfield retired; Pandora Xing won by a narrow margin in Tuesday's run-off election against Spivey Bleete. Town Councilmember Bleete was unavailable to comment for this story. Balloting was performed using the new paw-print touch screen system, recognized by experts to be the only complete and reliable method for recording voter intent. The bi-partisan Committee for an Effective Democracy audited the final ballot count and reported the margin of error was zero. The results were not contested.
The Editors wish to express our sincerest hopes and wishes that Mayor Xing's tenure and service to the community be productive and fruitful.
|A HERO'S WELCOME HOME Twelve-Star General Wes Karl Lee [pictured below] returns home to Carmel today from a ten-year long tour of duty as Supreme Commander of the United Nations Forces for Peace, headquartered at The Hague in Europe. General Lee retires from an illustrious military career spanning over thirty-five years. He is shown at right wearing the Order of the Red Garland, awarded by the U.N. for his critical role in negotiating The Mesopotamian Accord. General Lee will remain on 'active duty' locally, having accepted the Directorship of the Monterey Institute for World Governmental Affairs. In a recent interview on the Satellite News Network, the General said he has also been approached to run for elective office. "I am keeping an open mind to the recent offers," said Lee. "I have been a public servant all my life and will definitely seek new opportunities to serve." Many supporters of the General would like to see him elected Secretary-General of the United Nations itself. "General Lee's decades of exemplary service would make him a worthy successor," says Kana Inanof, special assistant to the current Secretary-General. A reception honoring General Lee will be given this evening by Mr. & Mrs. Symington-Howl at their residence on Carmel Point. All are invited.|
MAJOR COUP FOR CARMEL ACADEMY OF DANCE Formerly principal dancer with the Bearshoi, Max Maxilov [in flight at left] will be joining the teaching faculty at Carmel Conservatory's Academy of Music and Dance. The addition of Max to the faculty is seen as a move to further strengthen the already first-rate ballet program that has produced so many world class dancers over the years. Max will lead the school's 58th season of performances next year from May 21st to August 18th. In a recent interview for this publication, Max Maxilov stated, "I look forward to the challenge," acknowledging the high standards Carmelites have come to expect from their summer ballet series. "I understand that the expectations are great and I will do my very best. In Russia we have a saying-and a song: 'Tradition!' " Asked to comment on his much-rumored romance with the great Russian ballerina, Martina Maxilovika (currently dancing with the San Francisco Ballet) Max replied, "Stet! No comment."
The Academy of Dance is currently headed by Rolli Rostopovich [pictured at left], a native of the Ukraine. Rolli (known as "The Twirler" back in Kiev) said he looks forward to some good natured competition from his former comrade. Although retired from active dance, Rolli once a year performs his famous avante-garde interpretation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The original performance with the Bearshoi in Moscow twenty years ago caused a riot. Pasha Petrenka, at right, takes a lesson from the Master. She's not quite ready for "The Twirl", but she looks pretty good to us!
|BAKER BEARS' BEACH BONANZA - Neville, Nigel and Nathaniel Baker [pictured below] made history this week when the three amateur archeologists discovered a cave in the Carmel beach cliffs containing Ohlone Indian remains and artifacts. The find has been authenticated by Dr. Rubio Mendoza, Director of the Monterey Institute for Archeology and renowned expert on the history of California's Central Coast. Of special interest are the cave's cinnabar paintings depicting the mythological figures of Coyote, Eagle and Hummingbird, famous in Ohlone creation lore. "The paintings are beautiful and cover an entire wall about fifty feet long," said Nigel Baker, spokesbear for the three explorers. The Carmel Town Council, called to special meeting yesterday by Mayor Pandora Xing, passed a unanimous proclamation to protect the Native American Indian site as an "important addition to our knowledge about the early inhabitants of the Central Coast." Although carbon dating results are not complete, Professor Mendoza estimated the age of the find to be at least 1,000 years adding "you don't need to go to Egypt for ancient artifacts - they're in our own back yard." Dr. Mendoza's department sent the Baker bears a bicycle built for three in recognition of their discovery. "Wheeeee!" said Neville Baker, designated driver for the threesome.|
|POP SQUEEK RETIRES - After fifty years of service to the community, Carmel resident and shopkeeper, Pop Squeek [pictured at left] retires today. For the last half century, Pop Squeek's has been a must stop for novelties and amusements for Carmelites and visitors alike. In a ceremony last night honoring his commitment and dedication to fun, Pop announced that his son, Pip, would be carrying on the tradition. Grand re-opening for Pip Squeek's is scheduled for next week. "It's going to be hard seeing the sign change," muses Pop. "But I'm off to Bermuda for a month, so I'll try not to think about it too much." Pip inherits a business that also includes half of the hot air balloon concession on Carmel Beach, a popular attraction for the past twenty years and sponsor of the balloon races at Carmel's annual Summer Fête. Pip additionally informs The Bearly News that he will not change the policy of staying open until midnight on Halloween. "I know how urgent the need can be," says Pip. "Last year, I was invited to a party at nine o'clock that very night. Pop came to the rescue!"|
"MUFFIN GIRLS" WIN FIRST PRIZE IN 12TH ANNUAL BAKEOFF CONTEST - Three apprentices at a local French bakery won first prize in the Muffin category in Carmel-by-the-Sea's annual Bakeoff last Saturday. It was a surprise upset over frontrunner Martha Watters, who has won the category six years running. Marcy Jeffers, Darby Rose and Abbey Adams [pictured at right] won this year with their cinnamon, banana, orange and lemon peel muffin, which one judge described as "curiously - and intensely - pleasing to the palate."
"The three 'Muffin Girls' - as they are affectionately known in the shop - came up with the unusual recipe all by themselves," explains Tuppence Montcrief, manager of Le Crest-Alons Bakery on Ocean Avenue, and daughter of owner, Master Pastry Chef Albeart Montcrief. "We are very proud of our girls," says Ms. Montcrief, who won last year's prize in the Croissant category. "Of course," she adds, "we've all been taught by the best" referring to her father, Albeart Montcrief, who opened the bakery in Carmel in 1946 after fleeing occupied France.
LOCAL LOTTERY WINNER FULFILLS DREAM - Recent California Lottery winner - and longtime Carmel resident - Padge the Handybear [pictured at left] has purchased The Wistful Toad pub, a popular watering hole for locals since 1926.
Padge won the $40M jackpot last month, receiving a lump sum payment of $12M after taxes.
"I've been a Wistful Toad regular for years and years. And I've often thought about what I would do to occupy my retirement," said Padge, whose handybear days are "definitely over."
"But I have lots of new ideas for the place," continues Padge. "So I'll still be busy for some time."
To fulfill another dream, Padge established an educational fund, The Bingley and Darcy Charitable Trust, with a $4M endowment shortly after his win. The Trust awards college scholarships to local high school students. "My favorite author is Jane Austen, so I thought the name of the Trust was appropriate," declares Padge. The new proprietor's love of books has prompted him to introduce poetry readings at the pub. A double header inaugurates the new series with Ernest Fitzgerald, Jr. reading selected poems and Plain Brown Rapper performing "The Golly" next Tuesday on FREE NIGHT. Padge will treat all patrons "on the house" from 7pm to 11pm. "I hope the events are popular and will attract lots of Bay Area talent. We'd love to bring in Lawrence Ferlinghetti from San Francisco!"
To run the day-to-day operations of the pub, Padge has hired famous London bar-bear, Digby [pictured below right], most recently of Claridge's. The Wistful Toad's personnel manager tells The Bearly News that Digby's talents aren't confined to mixology. "Digby brings a wealth of management experience, having worked for many of the most popular pubs in London over the past 20 years."
Padge also informs The Bearly News that Digby sings and plays the piano. As The Wistful Toad's new music event coordinator, Digby is tasked with promoting, booking and producing the pub's acts. A temporary stint as personnel manager rounds out Digby's busy duty roster.
"We have ambitious plans," continues Padge, "I hope that Carmelites and visitors will stop by and join in all the fun!"
In addition to weekly poetry readings on Mondays, FREE NIGHT on Tuesdays and musical guests planned for Friday and Saturday evenings, The Wistful Toad fills in the rest of the week with karaoke every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday night. "I've certainly enjoyed making a fool of myself," jokes Padge. "We will be welcoming others to do the same."
The Wistful Toad is located on Dolores Street, one block south of Ocean Avenue. The English-style pub is open seven days a week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 a.m. Light Menu served. Sunday Brunch is from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with music by Carmel's own La Belle Mer String Quartet.
PLAIN BROWN RAPPER AT LOCAL BOOKSTORE - The Thunderhawk Bookshop will host Plain Brown Rapper [pictured at left] next Wednesday afternoon from 1:00pm to 3:00pm when he will sign and read from his new book of poetry From Here to There: Connecting all the Dots.
Plain Brown Rapper ends his current twenty-five city sold-out U.S concert tour next month in San Francisco and will go back into the recording studio to begin work on his long-awaited fourth CD. Last night at a charity event in Beverly Hills hosted by music impresario XYZ-5000, Rapper's 4.9 carat, flawless yellow diamond earring was auctioned for $152,000. Proceeds will go to Rapper's "High Schoolers at Risk" program, now in its fourth year of helping troubled youth.
POP ART RETROSPECTIVE FOR H. DYLAN RAOW Renowned artist and oldest living member of the Pop Art scene of the 1950's and 60's, H. Dylan Raow has been given a retrospective of his work at the Cassiopeia Art Gallery in Carmel. The Raow Retrospective, which opened yesterday, runs for six weeks.
Pop Art was one of the major modern art movements of the twentieth century. It is characterized by themes drawn from mass culture, such as advertising and comic books, employing images of popular culture in a manner deliberately intended to remove the artist from the artwork itself.
H. Dylan Raow's most famous painting is MoonPop [shown above left; click to enlarge] and commemorates NASA's Apollo 11 mission to the moon. The painting was completed on June 21, 1969, the day after Neil Armstrong first set foot on the lunar surface.
When asked to paint a self-portrait to commemorate the 50th anniversary retrospective of his work, Raow created a sixteen image painting [shown at right; click to enlarge]. "At first I hesitated because Pop Art, when it does employ images of others, usually does so with celebrities and the famous among us," said Raow in his speech at the opening last night. "However, I thought this painting appropriate to our self-referential age. All art evolves and I hope Pop Artists the world over will continue to do what they do best. Pop Art alone has the unique ability to illustrate the modern obsession with fame. And in this world of ours today, we find ourselves confronted with global problems that make such obsession deserving of serious criticism. Art helps us see beyond the present, where future and hopeful possibilities can transform our world."
His self-portrait will be auctioned with proceeds going to the Carmel Art Academy, where Raow graduated in 1945 and serves as a visiting lecturer. Raow's MoonPop recently sold at auction in New York for an undisclosed sum. However, estimates for Self Portrait have been as high as $4,000,000. Raow - and his contemporaries like Warhol - advanced the art of modern painting to the stature it enjoys today in the international art markets. Raow's Self Portrait is a masterpiece of tonal interplay, mesmerizing in its refinement of technique and precision and evidence that, at age 85, H. Dylan Raow is still a powerful presence in the art world.
ROYALTY COMES TO CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA - Lady Baltimore (seen here at a press conference outside Buckingham Palace last week), acting as official representative of Her Majesty, brings a special gift to the town from the royal family. The Queen's gift, which will be installed on Ocean Avenue, is a fifteen foot modern bronze sculpture by Peggy Lovelle, the acclaimed award-winning British sculptor.
The occasion marks the anniversary of the Queen's visit to Carmel five years ago; her gift is intended to emphasize the Queen's deep affection for her favorite 'adopted' vacation destination. Art historian, Ms. Cordelia Pembridge-Howl, who accompanies Lady Baltimore during her week long visit and will supervise the installation of the sculpture, said of Ms. Lovelle's piece, "Ocean Pacifico is perhaps one of the most remarkable modern art depictions of sea-life I have ever seen. I am sure it will be a major attraction to visitors and Carmel residents alike."
The work will be sited on a prominent spot in the island divide on Ocean Avenue between Junipero Avenue and Mission Street. The official unveiling is in three days. A reception will be held for Lady Baltimore tomorrow night at the Carmel Point home of Mr. & Mrs. Symington-Howl. All are invited.
|ONE MILLION DOLLARS PAID FOR THREE GLASSES OF ICED LEMONADE - Sheri, Calpurnia and Antonio (pictured at right) simply had no idea that events at their homemade lemonade stand would attract local and national news. To hear Calpurnia relate the story, it all began at 11:00am last Tuesday, two hours after they opened their stand for business. A black Rolls Royce stopped about three car lengths from the stand and a gloved-chauffeur, in a dove grey uniform, got out and approached the stand. He purchased three glasses of lemonade and returned to the limousine. About fifteen minutes later, the chauffeur (he introduced himself as Cedric) asked about the donations' cause and returned once again to the limo. A few minutes later, Cedric presented Sheri, Calpurnia and Antonio a check for one million dollars made out to The Children's Hospital of the Monterey Bay Peninsula. Turns out that the couple in the Rolls Royce (who wish to remain anonymous) have a grandchild in the ICU at Children's Hospital. "It was a great way to start the day," said Sheri. "We made $1,000,028 by the end of the afternoon!"|
PANDA PARK PROMISES PONDERTIME - Skateboarders and roller skaters got their special purpose park last year. Given Carmel's sizeable Panda population, it was only natural that a "Panda Park" be commissioned and built. Such a measure was unanimously approved by the City Council at the time the skate park opened. Everyone will remember then-Mayor Flint Westfield's impassioned plea for providing "a safe haven for our Panda youth who just want - and need - to hang out. I've been hanging out for almost all of my life and I can tell you this: I'd go crazy if I couldn't hang out, smell the roses and eat the bamboo," waxed the former Mayor, adding "one leaf at a time."
And now, after eighteen months of construction and horticultural planning, the four acre park opened yesterday morning on El Camino Real at 10th street with Carmel's present Mayor, Pandora Xing, cutting the green ribbon. The Mayor kept her remarks short, echoing much of Flint Westfield's sentiments. Mayor Xing personally welcomed each member of the waiting crowd who seemed excited and ready to begin their 'downtime' enjoyment of Carmel's newest outdoor public amenity. As seen in the picture above [photo courtesy of shutterstock.com who were on a photo shoot of Big Sur and swung by to do The Bearly News a favor], Alexis Tsu and Yao "Bing-Bear" Xaioling (prounounced Chow-Ling) are busily engaged in relaxing while chewing on the abundant supply of bamboo from the mini-forest planted by the many volunteers on the project. The play park will be "meticulously maintained" by the Roly Poly Panda Progressives, a not-for-profit organization devoted to Panda initiatives on and around the Monterey Peninsula.
"This park is Carmel's newest gem," said the Mayor. "Volunteer some time; let's keep it green and shining for generations of Carmelites and visitors alike," counseled the Mayor in her closing remarks.
Readers may contact the Roly Poly Panda Progressives via e-mail or learn more about the organization on their website.
PARISIAN MASTER SLEUTH SPEAKS AT SYMPOSIUM - As previously reported in these pages, on the night of February 28, 2007, a Picasso painting, Maya With Doll [at left] was stolen from the Parisian residence of Diana Widmaier-Picasso, the grandaughter of Pablo Picasso. On August 7, 2007, less than six months later, French officials announced that the painting had been recovered in Paris and that the thieves arrested had been known to the police for previous cases of art theft. However, there is apparently more to the story.
The famous privé - but very much le professionnel - French sleuth Paul-Henri Baptiste-Simon will speak about his experience assisting Interpol with the investigation. Monsieur Baptiste-Simon's memoir, Crime Never Pays, Does It? is currently on non-fiction bestseller lists worldwide. The author will speak at The Sunrise Center next Saturday evening from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. All are invited.
FYI - Pablo Picasso painted Maya With Doll in 1938. The colorful Cubist portrait depicts the artist's daughter as a child clutching her doll. Maya With Doll is valued at $40M.
Product reviewed: C.H.A.T.
Category: Bluetooth wireless earset for cell phones
Company: B.L.T. (Bears Love Tech)
There's a new bluetooth earset creating a great deal of industry "buzz" at the moment. Developed by B.L.T. of Carmel, C.H.A.T. (computer-enhanced, hyperdyne, asynchronous telephony) incorporates a revolutionary design that reveals the most remarkable wireless earset weve ever tested.
Our tests were performed by two of our vacationing staff members. On their test calls and video chats between Paris and St. Moritz, reception was crystal clear on each of the fifty calls (although our carrier did drop the signal once; the sound of silence was deafening with the new blue gadget). As can be seen in the smaller frame above (on a customized Razberry qSmart smartphone), Percy's Cow wears the C.H.A.T. device quite discretely. In the Parisian cafes, our other tester, Suzette, was surprised by the incessant questioning about the earpiece from fashionistas eager to learn where they might acquire the "eye-catching" headset.
According to Yao "Bing" Xaioling (pronounced Chow-Ling), the company's marketing director (left), B.L.T. is set to launch C.H.A.T. in all markets within the next three weeks. B.L.T. was formed eighteen months ago and C.H.A.T. is the company's first product. The company employs fifty-eight, with plans to add an additional thirty jobs in the next three months. When asked for her official comment, Carmel's Mayor Pandora Xing applauded the company's decision to keep all jobs local.
The company calls their new patented technology C.O.I.L. (computer-enhanced, oligineous, interlaced laminate) and its plain to see why in the product shot at right. The hardware piece is made of an ultra-flexible, "endlessly reformable" material that sounds straight out of NASA. The unique material makes the device ultra-comfortable in either ear. About the unique design, the product manager would only say that "[t]he earpiece takes maximum advantage of the surface area on our titanium-(something mumbled and unintelligible) antenna," careful not to reveal proprietary information. Bluetooth electronics and a re-chargeable Lithium-ion battery are molded directly into the device. The product also includes a thumbnail-sized USB adapter that wirelessly charges the onboard battery.
Our own testing revealed truly amazing sound quality. A cyclist riding downhill, into the wind, at forty-miles per hour received crystal clear reception. Same walking on the beach. Same driving on the links. B.L.T.'s press statement also revealed that scientists at the company even tested their product in gale force winds by convincing one intrepid television journalist to wear C.H.A.T. during network coverage of a recent typhoon. "Although the reporter had to yell on occassion, both the yelling and the high wind could be heard with crystal clarity. The reporter was unharmed and his C.H.A.T. stayed in-place for the entirety of the network's broadcast," stated a B.L.T. staff scientist.
Our "Five Star" rating, the highest we give, is well-deserved; everyone here in the Technology Department at The Bearly News looks forward to revising next month's discretionary budget.
CD: Black is Back (recorded live at Madison Square Garden).
"Black is Back" - the appropriately titled Double CD recorded live at Madison Square Garden in New York earlier this year - was released this week to glowing reviews. The highly-anticipated third CD from the genre busting group combines reggae, rock, and hip-hop with jazz overtones in what one critic called "a musical revelation." When asked why Black's fans had to wait three years for the third CD, a publicist for the group explained that "Black really needed to get back to their roots in Jamaica for some serious down-time. But I think Black's fans will be delighted with the results and the twenty-eight songs recorded live on their latest CD."
The group's first two CDs released just a year apart created a worldwide sensation, launching Black virtually overnight to music super-group status. In case you're one of the few on the planet who hasn't heard of Black, the family group is comprised of three Jamaican brothers: Shawnte Black (drums and vocals), Busta "Smokey" Black (bass guitar and vocals) and Cornelius Black (lead/rhythm guitar and vocals). The three brothers not only collaborate on each song lyrically and musically, they openly and enthusiastically praise their musical heroes for the inspiration behind their work. "I must have listened to Tony William's Believe It CD a thousand times; and Lenny White's work on Romantic Warrior is totally mind-boggling," said Shawnte Black during the press interview held in New York City the night before their sold out performance. Busta is equally emphatic when it comes to his favorite CD, Romantic Warrior: "Stanley Clarke is the greatest bass player ever. End of story." Apparently Romantic Warrior, released in 1976 by Return to Forever (a lineup led by Chick Corea on keyboards) is a group favorite: Cornelius Black's favorite guitarist is Al DiMeola. "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't listen to something by Al on his 25+ albums and each time I learn something new. Al also knows we are huge fans and although our touring schedules are pretty hectic right now, he promised we'd hook up for a jam session at a local club in Geneva when our tours end. Sounds great - can't wait!"
Black's current world tour takes them to 23 cities including New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Tokyo, Beijing (date still unconfirmed), Bombay, Johannesburg, Sydney, London, Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Kiev, Moscow, and finally to Zurich.
"We will be looking for a little down-time after such a grueling schedule," quipped Cornelius Black "But the chance to jam with Al DiMeola in Geneva while we are in Switzerland is something we just can't pass up. And who knows? Perhaps another live album!"
To this reviewer, Black's lyrics are definitely thought provoking and the group cites the influences and social consciousness of the beat generation, especially author Jack Kerouac and poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (one well-known concert prank: Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind is often left "Oprah-style" under hundreds of the less expensive seats in the audience on opening night). One might also expect a Bob Marley influence; but only in so far as each had similar political leanings. It would be wrong to suggest Mr. Marley's music has had any significant influence over Black's musical style, which is a unique fusion of reggae, jazz, hip-hop and rock. Having grown up in rural Jamaica, the group's exposure to city hip-hop culture and community has been limited. So while their lyrical cadence (and some of the thematic material) may remind listeners of rap music, past and present, Black's music does not simply dwell on, or even bask in, life's current predicaments. It is to suggest to the listener specific solutions, delivered in upbeat - dare I say transcendent - music; to take action, rather than merely complain or pursue excessive wealth. It's lesson time folks and Black does not shy away from reminding us we all share the same little planet and when we fully understand this and apply our efforts with humility, we can end much misery.
Although many of the songs deal with some of the world's most intractable problems, Black is Back is, in fact, a celebratory album, offering answers that seem to be right in front of us, if we would only pay attention. Consider the following lyrics from the track titled Darfur.
Other songs on the album including Baghdad Booty: Oil for the Taking, Global Heat, China Syndrome, and Ode to Theo Van Gogh are bound to create controversy in some circles. There is, though, some lighter fare like the hilarious track Dickie, Donnie and Georgie (subtitled The Three Stooges Inherit the Wind), But perhaps the funniest track is: Paul Wolfowitz: Can One Man Bankrupt the World Bank? My favorite lyric:
BEACH BADMINTON FINALS ATTRACT THOUSANDS - The 12th Annual Northern California Beach Badminton Tournament was held on Carmel Beach in perfect, windless weather conditions over the past three days, attracting competitors and fans from as far away as Mendocino in the north to Morro Bay in the South. Eight teams participated in the event, representing Mendocino, Bodega Bay, Stinson Beach, San Francisco, Pacifica, Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Morro Bay. Each team was comprised of four players on the male team and four players on the female team. In a departure from previous years, the governing committee decided that all games would be confined to singles play (best of three games) after last year's unfortunate accident when Carmel Team Captain, Freddie ("Longlegs") Piernas, playing forward in a doubles semi-finals game, was hit over the head with this teammate's racket, busting the strings and lodging the racket around Piernas' neck. Piernas was rushed to the first aid tent where a nursebear removed the obstruction; the on-site seamstress applied twenty-two stitches to Piernas's injuries. Sadly, the two bears had to forfeit the game, effectively eliminating the Carmel team from title contention last year.
The Carmel-by-the-Sea male team this year included Team Captain, Ernest Wild (Editor of this publication), Cyril Baker (Maestro of the local symphony), Basil Baker (the town's amateur sleuth) and Albeart Montcrief (Master Pastry Chef and owner of Le Crest-Alons Bakery on Ocean Avenue). Carmel's female team members were Team Captain, Pandora Xing (our newly elected Mayor), town Councilmember Spivey Bleete, Faolina Schwartz (of the CPA firm Schwartz, Katz and Perros) and Rosebeary (Advice Columnist for this publication).
Although supporters of the local team outnumbered those of the other teams, the cheerleading contingent from Monterey was very strong. Arch-rivals since the tournament event saw its first play twelve years ago, Monterey has won the cup three times to Carmel's four victories. However, neither team has made it to the finals in the past three years; and neither township has produced winners for both the male and female teams in the same year. The only team to accomplish that noteworthy feat was San Francisco, six years ago, in decisive straight set victories in First Round, Semi-Final and Finals play against all comers, in both doubles and singles play. Inexplicably, to this reporter who witnessed that extraordinary tournament, the San Francisco team has not been nearly as strong in recent years, making it to the Finals just once in the last five competitions.
However, this year saw some exciting singles play as the eight teams, representing sixty-four competitors played singles games in a random ladder draw. The leading contenders were the teams from Stinson Beach and Pacifica, both finalists for the last two years, with Stinson Beach winning in the female category last year. The year prior saw a reverse split result, with the Pacifica male bear team winning the trophy, while the Stinson Beach female team took home the cup for their township for the second straight year. This year began with two surprising upsets in the first round of play on Day One of the competition. Three of the four players from the Stinson Beach male team were handily defeated in straight sets by Morro Bay. Tournament rules state that when three of the four members of a team are eliminated in competition, that team cannot continue with its remaining player. This disappointed the Stinson Beach supporters, since their remaining player was also their star player, Victor Vega, who has been winning singles tournaments up and down the West Coast over the past six months. When asked to comment, Vega simply shrugged his shoulders, rolled his eyes and said, "Ningún comentario." The second upset, perhaps the more dramatic to this reporter, came when all four female team members from the Pacifica team lost to the Carmel players in grueling three game sets, advancing the Carmel female team to the semifinals against Stinson Beach.
Day Two saw some intense semi-finals play between the Morro Bay and Carmel male teams as they battled out twelve games amongst the eight players with Carmel finally prevailing. The Monterey male team quickly dispatched the team from Mendocino in straight sets. Rumor (for what it's worth) circulated quickly among the crowd that the Mendocino male team was seen partying just a little too hearty the night before, celebrating their first ever victory over San Francisco. The semi-finals for the male teams thus set up a match between arch-rivals Monterey and Carmel.
Day Two also saw some interesting competition in the female semi-finals. The Stinson Beach female team came to the competition from two straight victories in the last two years. It was expected that they would quickly defeat the Carmel team. In some surprisingly aggressive play in the first game of the day, one Carmel player, Spivey Bleete, routed star Stinson player, Elena Nikolaev, 15-10 in the first game. Stunned into action, the Stinson Beach player came back with renewed energy, defeating Bleete quickly 15-8 in the second game. Game three proceeded with fierce intensity, with point matched by point until the score reached 15-14 in Stinson Beach's favor. Then the star server on the Stinson Beach female team served a fast and deep set-point shuttlecock which was miraculously recovered by Spivey Bleete, whose diving save tossed the shuttlecock thirty feet in the air, landing on the opponent's long serving line and out of reach of Nikolaev. The game was then tied 15-15. At that point, the players had the option to "reset" the game with the first player to reach a score of three (3) winning that game. However, both players elected to continue regular play (which states that the first player to lead by two points is declared victor). A crowd of about five hundred gathered on the beach to witness what was to become legendary play. With both players in top form, the score alternated back and forth for another sixty minutes until the score was tied at 25-25. Then the unexpected happened: after Spivey Bleete served deep, Elena returned serve, rushed the net and tripped, setting up an easy point for Spivey. With the score 26-25 and Spivey Bleete serving again, she volleyed with Elena over sixteen court passes, until an opening presented itself and Spivey scored the winning point, and her set, for the Carmel team. This energized both the Carmel and Stinson Beach female teams and the remaining three games were all cliffhanger 3-game sets. Finally, three of the four Carmel players won their respective sets and advanced to the Finals against Monterey. Thus, for the first time in ten years, both the male and female teams faced their arch-rivals in the Finals on Day Three.
Day Three began with a slight offshore breeze and a court setup for the Finals that differed from previous years: the organizing committee thought it would be more dramatic to have all four teams play each other simultaneously. And so, a 'Center Court of Courts' of sorts was lined out in the sand for the four separate singles games in the Male and Female Finals. Some read another reason into the new arrangements: gameplay would be over in time for serious celebration the rest of the afternoon and into the night. Others saw it as an attempt to increase attendance. Both supposed motives only served to increase business in town (much to the delight of the Chambear of Commerce).
With two local teams in the Finals, the crowd on the beach had grown to more than two thousand. The four male teams played first and the bleachers that had been set up around the four courts overflowed their capacity, with standing room only for the latecomers. Play began with the male teams at 9:30 in the morning. I must admit that following four games at once was a daunting challenge that proved arduous work for this reporter. The excitement in the crowd was palpable as the four teams battled it out. All players' sets stretched to three games each and the suspense drove the crowd wild as the scores in each game were very close. By 11:30 that morning though, a victor had emerged, with Carmel winning the day for the male team.
Female Finals began at 12:30 pm. The Beach Patrol would later estimate the crowd had swelled to over four thousand (a record for the event) as word spread to neighboring Monterey of the morning Carmel win by the Male team. The locals were now approximately even in number as the fans from Carmel and Monterey gave an enthusiastic reception to the final eight players when they took their court positions. Play was as intense as this reporter has seen. The first of three games was evenly split, heightening the crowd's mood to a frenzy. The second game was evenly split also, but was a reverse win for all eight players from the previous game, in effect, a tie between the teams as they began their third games. As the third and final set of games began, a large group of Carmel fans chanted "Faolina! Faolina! Faolina!" in relentless fashion, which seemed to supercharge the contestant as she routed her opponent from Monterey in a 15-6 humiliation for Lili Zhou. The other contestants continued their play in closely-scored games. Now it the Monterey fans' turn: taking their cue from the Carmelites, they chanted for their star player, Susie Susanini, who was matched against Rosebeary. With the scored tied 13-13, Susie served two final aces and won her game. Finals score was now one game each for Carmel and Monterey. In court four, Spivey Bleete, from Carmel, and Antonia Vega (Victor's younger sister) from Monterey battled their last game to a 15-15 tie. The players elected the 'sudden death' option and the game was reset to 0-0; the first player to reach 3 points would be declared winner. Spivey won the coin toss, serving first. Antonia returned serve in a deep cross court volley, forcing Spivey to dive for the save. With the shuttlecock hit high in the air, Antonia had time to position herself for an overhead 'spike' to Spivey, who only having just gotten up from the sand, could only guess where Antonia would hit the return. Spivey guessed wrong and Antonia hit hard, driving the shuttlecock into the sand and out of Spivey's reach. Antonia, now serving, drove an ace onto Spivey's inside serving line and the score was 1-0, Antonia. Spivey then called her one time out to regain her composure.
Meanwhile, over on Court Two, Pandora Xing was serving set point against her opponent, Teri Topley. Both players were not considered the strongest players on their respective teams but the final volley of their game was one to remember. After Pandora drilled a serve that should have been an ace, Teri Topley returned the volley just over the net and thus began a twenty two count volley between the players. On the twenty third volley, Topley was caught short at the net and Pandora lobbed an easy shot over Teri's head that landed a few inches inside her long serving line and the victor was Xing.
With the team score 2-1 in Carmel's favor, it was down to a 'sudden-death' game between Spivey Bleete from Carmel and Antonia Vega from Monterey. The score was 1-0 in Antonia's favor. She served hard and deep but Spivey returned serve cross court and with equal speed, taking Antonia by surprise. Despite a spectacular dive to save the shot, Antonia's return landed out of bounds on Spivey's side. Spivey served next and to the crowd's surprise it was an ace, her only one thus far in the tournament. The score was 1-1. There was a hush in the crowd as Spivey served another shuttlecock, fast and straight down the middle, just inside Antonia's short court. Antonio returned serve high setting up a smash winning point for Spivey. The score was 2-1, Carmel leading and the crowd was so quiet you could hear the waves breaking on the beach. Spivey readied herself for her match point serve. She tossed the shuttlecock high in the air and struck it with a ferocity rarely seen in the sport. In a blur the shuttlecock sped to the waiting Antonia, only to bury itself in the sand inside Antonia's serving court, giving Spivey her second ace and a game, set, match win. By 2:30 pm the Carmel team had prevailed.
Carmel's Winning Teams - Left to right: Ernest Wild, Basil Baker, Cyril Baker, Albeart Montcrief, Rosebeary, Faolina Schwartz, Pandora Xing and Spivey Bleete. First prize included a $1,000 check for each contestant, as well as gift certificates donated by several Carmel shops and eateries.
NATURAL TRENDS - With Carmel-by-the-Sea's ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in effect now for several years, it was only a matter of time before some entrepreneurial spirit would emerge to form a company with, shall we say, a more civilized - and considerate - approach to maintaining the township's hundreds of private gardens. First to embrace what has been called the au naturale approach to gardening is the firm called simply The Three Trimmers.
"We just absolutely refuse to use any motorized equipment, pesticides or 'so-called' soil enhancers," advises Giovanni Gardino, lead gardener and co-owner of the three Gardino brothers' business. "Noise oftentimes gets on the nerves of Carmelites who prize their serenity - along with the environment and scenery - of our little town," continues Giovanni, who adds, "the same is true of many of our customers in Pebble Beach. They come to us because we share their concerns while maintaining the high standards required when working on some of the most beautiful gardens in California." Francesco and Antonio round out the team, which in their first year attracted over one hundred clients intrigued by the idea of a more peaceful (read quieter) gardening and landscaping experience.
"Of course Pebble Beach can be a particular challenge because the house lots tend to be much larger than in town." explains Giovanni. "Sure, it takes extra time to hand mow a big lawn, or weed a large flower bed by hand rather than with one of those horrid weed-wacker contraptions," notes Antonio, the youngest of the three brothers. Antonio, who regularly jogs on Carmel Beach and lifts weights at the Beach and Tennis Club, is in excellent physical shape (several long-time P.B. residents exerted their influence and obtained permanent guest passes for the threesome). Antonio jokes, "which is probably why I seem to be given the more strenuous jobs!" However, this is not to downplay the other brothers' skills: Giovanni and Francesco possess considerable horticultural knowledge important in the cultivation business. They view their profession more as a combination of art and science rather than simply as a service and, consequently, look for clients who understand the special needs and requirements of landscaped and sculptured gardens. Oftentimes, The Three Trimmers have need to employ the special talents of Brilllo, internationally recognized Topiary artist and Carmel resident.
The threesome, however, are not complete Luddites. "We just hate noise and air pollution," says Francesco, the 'shy' brother, who points out they have a first-class, state-of-the-art computerized accounting and scheduling system. "Staff are equipped with the latest mobile communications tools. Without our always-on RazBerry qSmart smartphones, it would be impossible to keep up with our busy schedules," explains Francesco. "The trick to our business is designing gardens that need once-a-month care," elaborates Giovanni. The Three Trimmers, naturally, make it all sound easy: but this reporter has seen some of their work and was duly impressed. The boys don't come cheap, however: average monthly visit costs three hundred and fifty dollars; but if you can afford them, you will never regret it (full disclosure: this reporter recently hired the firm). Your garden will thank you and your flowers will sing.
I'm ten years old and my brother is six and I just can't seem to get him out of my hair. How much am I supposed to put up with until he gets his act together? - Sophie in Texas
The short answer: quite a lot. As his older sister you have a part to play in how he grows up - like it or not. And he's going to learn an awful lot from you. So ask yourself: what do I want him to learn from me? I'll bet impatience and unkindness aren't on your list, are they? Hang in there: the good news is that boys can be cool, too - eventually!
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If you could meet any famous person of the last 100 years, who would it be? - Jacqueline in France
Teddy Roosevelt, for obvious reasons.
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I'm fifteen but my parents say that dating would be distracting from my ballet lessons and school. I'm a good dancer and an A student. I even hope to dance with a ballet company someday. Everyone has high expectations and I understand all that. But this boy bear and I really click. He's smart and supportive - and very cute! How can I convince my parents not to worry so much? - Pasha in Carmel
Parents always worry. That's what parents do! This requires patience on your part: patience to reassure them - over their objections - that all is well. And the best way you can do this is through your behaviour. If you can show them that your schooling and ballet are not taking a backseat to dating, you've won the day - and your boyfriend. Boy bears are especially taken with bright and talented girl bears! I should know :-)
How important is an education? My girfriends and I have started an Internet chat company and we're only in seventh grade. We're making a mint. Is it really necessary for us to go to high school? - Melinda in California
I think it's great that you have your own company. Now that you're all set, you can focus on the things that really matter: helping others not as fortunate as yourself. We often forget that no one makes it alone. That's a myth. Everyone has had help along the way. Why, even you and your girlfriends have to rely on one another, don't you? Besides, you'll need to learn more than just how to make money - and for all those things you're going to need to know, an education is required, absolument. Go to high school and then on to college. You won't regret it. I never have! In the meantime, reach out and inspire other girls by your example. And good luck with your business!
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Is time travel possible? - Victor in Sweden
Of course! I do it all the time. Last week I went back to the eighteenth century during the French Revolution in a book called A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Try it yourself: read Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and you'll be smack in the middle of nineteenth century U.S.A. rafting down the Mississippi!
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How did you become an advice columnist? - Katerina in Germany
That's an easy one: I read. At least a book a week and four newspapers a day - and I track about 20 blogs. Staying current allows me to have an opinion on just about everything!
|Friday evening: Several residents complained when a bonfire party on the beach got loud. The teenagers apologized and went home.||Saturday evening: Sea Patrol found homeless individual sleeping at Cypress Point. Individual was escorted to the 8th Avenue shelter.|
|Saturday morning: Fire Department responded to call from resident whose cat had its head stuck in a chain link fence. Rescue effected.||Sunday morning: Sea Patrol rescued otter caught in a drift net. Otter taken to Monterey Bay Aquarium for recuperation.|
|Saturday afternoon: Police dispersed angry crowd at local bakery on Ocean Avenue. The owner said his oven had been turned off and all his cakes and pies ruined. The crowd were mainly residents who had ordered said cakes and pies. No arrests were made.|
Sunday afternoon: Authorities arrested Pebble Beach golfer after he refused to stop hitting balls into the ocean from the 17th at Stillwater Cove.
Sunday evening: Nothing happened.
|Penelope Lambéar, free-lance correspondent from Mountain View, California, sends us this community issue story that should make all bears think about how we treat one another. Thanks for the great perspective, Lamby!|
It started in a communal setting. There were many species living together, including, of course, my bear friends and I. Unfortunately, there was much discrimination between the different species and harmony was, well, not quite so harmonious sometimes.
One morning I was awakened by a baby's cries. When I had cleared the sleep from my eyes, I saw that it was a tiny lamb. The lamb's mother was nowhere in sight. I moved toward the lamb and as I did, one of my fellow bears spoke: "You can't help that creature. It's a lamb and you're a bear."
I paused for a moment - but the lamb's cries tugged at my heart. So I made a decision right then and there: I would help that lamb, no matter what my bear friends said!
But another thought crossed my mind: lambs are often afraid of bears (although bears aren't sure why). So, I quickly donned a lamb disguise and very gently picked up the baby lamb. She quieted immediately. I fell in love with her sweet little face and have cared for her since that day. I named her Precious, and she truly is. This reporter learned an important lesson that day: being different is not bad ... it's just different. And I still keep my lamb disguise ready - because you just never know!
Somewhere in the volumes of scientific 'literature' on Spaceflight, there is actually the following entry:
Space Shuttle Regulation 987.1 >Onboard > Provisions>Personal Artifacts >Teddy Bears:
"A change from the long-standing Space Shuttle policy 987.0 was necessitated by the accidental release of Percy Fitzsimmons outside the Earth's atmosphere from the Orbital Enterprise. While Percy's orbital speed is currently 17,500 miles per hour, he is comfortable and poses no immediate danger to other orbiting objects including communication satellites and the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. While NASA telemetry indicates Percy will eventually be within reach of the International Space Station's articulating robotic arm (A.R.M.), the Agency nonetheless concludes it to be prudent, at this time, to ban teddy bear travel onboard the Space Shuttle, pending further study."
Ending the incident on a positive note, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has requested that a facsimile of Percy Fitzsimmons be included in their permanent Exploration of Space exhibit. The astronaut 'responsible' for Percy (privacy dictates decorum) has kindly granted the request.
Bonus: From A Brief History of Space Travel, a picture showing first bear walk in space.
|DELETER by Sisyphus|
|KID by Primo|
|KIDS by Primo|
|STRICTLY FOR THE BEARS: Carmelites are saddened by the closing of The Owl's Nest. Will someone please open another bear shop - soon?||
A message from the Green League
WANTED TO BUY: Desperately seeking a Morris Minor in mint condition with low mileage.
Contact Peggy by e-mail.
Pip Squeek, Proprietor
Now hiring for the following positions:
Apply at store: Dolores St. and Ocean Ave. Ask for Pip.
AT ABSOLUTE WIT'S END - Country Squire, recently moved from English estate to large Pebble Beach residence, has URGENT need for an experienced Governess with special gifts, qualifications and impeccable recommendations to take charge of twelve children. This position will involve DISCIPLINE and augmenting the children's EDUCATION, including tutoring when required and the supervision of assigned homework and extracurricular activities. In addition, your charges will continue with their classical music instruction on their chosen instruments. You will manage and oversee the various music instructors and supervise and maintain a practice session schedule.
The position pays a generous stipend of $80,000 per year (these children are unruly); there is also a $15,000 signing bonus (ok, very unruly). I am an equal opportunity employer and will provide full medical insurance as well as matching contributions to the retirement plan of your choice. Private quarters (bed chamber/bath with adjoining study) and meals shall be provided. To apply for this position, please send employment history and references in care of this publication. Familiarity with the film Nanny McPhee is a plus. Serious candidates only, please.
So begins a children's picture book you will never forget. As one review put it, The Black Sheep is "[a] simple -- but not simplistic -- tale of one sheep's quest to find his place in the world, and make the most of his individual skills. This book has all the elements of a good, old-fashioned bedtime read: well-drawn characters, plenty of drama and suspense and a positive message. The slightly abstract watercolor art forces children to take their time to identify everything in the picture and rewards rereading as new details become clear."
The fog comes
- Carl Sandburg
Visit San Francisco
[S.F. Chambear of Commerce]
That lifts us from the ground,
And leaves us in another place
Whose statement is not found;
Returns us not, but after time
We soberly descend,
A little newer for the term
Upon enchanted ground.
Emily Dickenson (1830-1886)
Stephan J. Harper, (b.1950)
Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
JUST DROP IN: we're open from 10:00am to 5:00pm seven days a week. Spend some quality knitting time (you've earned it). Socialize with other knitters and learn new tricks and techniques, whatever your skill level.
Free parking - and we're close to all the village shops and eateries!
- Knitting kits, needles, patterns and yarn
- Knitting books and magazines
- Individual knitting lessons
- Group classes once a week
- Viv's Quick Start Program: Two free knitting lessons offered with your first purchase
"THOU SHALT NOT KILL" - The 6th Commandment (circa The Big Bang +)
"THOU SHALT HAVE PEACE ON EARTH" - The 11th Commandment (unpublished)
- A reminder from Me -
"I think I don't regret a single 'excess' of my responsive youth - I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace."
Henry James, American Novelist
But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
Providing Light and Energy to Our Planet for Billions of Years
Committed to Life on Earth for Many Years to Come
Another message from the Green League
|GET THE LEAD OUT NOW!||A message from the Concerned Parents Global Initiative Coalition|
"Geography is more than places on a map. It's global connections and incredible creatures. It's people and cultures, economics and politics. And it's essential to understanding our interconnected world."
HERE ARE THE ONLY REAL SECRETS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
DREAM BIG, START SMALL, LIVE IN THE MOMENT
The RMS Titanic leaving Belfast for sea trials on April 2, 1912
All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
George Orwell (1903-1950)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
A Flight of Hopes for ever on the wing
But made Tranquillity a conscious Thing
And wheeling round and round in sportive coil
Fann'd the calm air upon the brow of Toil
What's New This Week | The Arts | "Venice Under Glass" | 3D Animations
"A Day in the Life of Carmel by the Sea" | Short Stories and Poems | Basil's Blog
Book Review: "rainforest" | Veritas et Scientia
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