Posts tagged United States

“Philomena” a Heartbreaking Tragicomedy

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“A Heartbreaking Tragicomedy”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Philomena stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in a heartbreaking movie based on a true story and the 2009 memoir, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.

Philomena

Back in the early 1950s, Philomena was a teenage girl in Ireland who met a young man at a fair and became pregnant after experiencing the joys of sex for the first time.

Because of the shame she had brought to her family, Philomena was sent to a convent to deliver her baby, a boy that she named Anthony, and then she was forced to work in the convent along with other young women in similar circumstances, who were all allowed to visit with their children only one hour a day.

When he was three years old, Anthony was sold by the nuns to an American couple who adopted him and took him back to the United States without Philomena being notified or allowed to say goodbye to him.

On what would have been Anthony’s fiftieth birthday, Philomena decides to try to find out what happened to Anthony and perhaps learn if he ever thought of his birth mother.

She meets a journalist, Martin Sixsmith, and although he claims that he doesn’t write human-interest stories, Philomena’s story intrigues him enough that his editor is willing to pay his expenses in order to track down Anthony and write a story about Philomena and Anthony.

Martin learns that Anthony had worked in Washington, DC, and because he has some contacts there, Martin is going to travel there and hope to learn more, which prompts Philomena to say, “I think I would like to go.”

And now we have a road trip with the odd couple of a little old unsophisticated Irish lady and a jaded young journalist who has been around the world before.

In spite of the circumstances of the story and the background, this is a warm comedy that produces both chuckles and laughs as Philomena and Martin discover the American identity of Anthony and the surprising facts about his life in the United States.

On the other hand, this is the kind of story for which the word “tragicomedy” was invented, and expect it to win many more awards than it already has.

Philomena proves once again that Dench is a terrific actress, sometimes using only her face to move us.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Philomena - Movie

Philomena – Movie Trailer

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Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, PHILOMENA focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock – something her Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of – and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow for any sort of inquiry into the son’s whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith (Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover her long-lost son.

Hot_Earth

Endangered Species Act Protection Proposed for Wolverine

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Loss of Spring Snowpack From Climate Change Primary Threat to Feisty PredatorPORTLAND, Ore.— In accordance with a historic agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed Endangered Species Act protections for American wolverines in the contiguous United States. The fierce, solitary hunters once roamed a large swath of the mountainous West, from Colorado to the Sierra Nevada in California and north through Washington and Montana. Today they are limited to Montana, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and a single animal in California. Their dependence on persistent spring snowpack for denning makes them severely threatened by climate change.

awolverine2

The wolverine has a reputation for killing prey many times its size, but it’s no match for global climate change, which is shrinking spring snowpack across the West,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director. “I’m glad wolverines are finally getting the protection they need to survive, but if we’re going to save the wolverine and countless other wildlife species, as well as the world we all depend on, we need to take immediate steps to substantially and quickly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Center has been working for protection of wolverines since 1995, including participating in litigation with allies to overturn a negative finding made by the Bush administration, resulting in it being placed on the candidate list. In 2011 the Center reached a settlement agreement requiring the Fish and Wildlife Service to make protection decisions for 757 species, including the wolverine, which was required to get a decision this fiscal year. A total of 54 species have received final protection under the agreement.  The wolverine is the 64th species proposed for protection with final protection expected within 12-months.

awolverine

“Our settlement agreement is moving protection forward for dozens of plants and animals that have been waiting for decades,” said Greenwald. “From the iconic wolverine to the unusual Ozark hellbender, some of America’s rarest and most unique creatures are benefitting from this agreement.”

Endangered Species Act protection for wolverines will likely put an end to plans by the state of Montana to allow wolverine trapping. It also will mean a likely reintroduction of the animals to Colorado, with today’s rule allowing for wolverines to be moved to the state under relaxed regulations that defines released animals as experimental and nonessential. Similar rules have been used to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the Southwest and black-footed ferrets to several areas.

“By protecting the wolverine from trapping and other threats and reintroducing it to historic habitat, we’re giving it the best possible chance to survive a warming world,” said Greenwald. “Today’s decision will allow many Americans the chance to one day see one of these magnificent animals in the wild.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Hot_Earth

Obama pulls plug on wolves life support

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Obama Administration Strips Wolf Protections Across Most of Lower 48 States

Plan Ends Prospects of Wolf Recovery in Southern Rockies, California, Northeast, Pacific Northwest

WASHINGTON— In a move questioned by some of the World’s leading wolf researchers, the Obama administration announced plans today to prematurely strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states, abruptly ending one of America’s most important species recovery programs. The proposal concludes that wolf protection in the continental United States, in place since 1978, is no longer needed, even though there are fledgling populations in places like the Pacific Northwest whose survival hinges on continued federal protection.

Most wild wolves will lose federal protection. The sates have interest in protecting wolves--a key animal in ecosystem health.

Most wild wolves will lose
federal protection. The states have little or no interest in protecting wolves–a key animal in ecosystem health.

 

“This is like kicking a patient out of the hospital when they’re still attached to life-support,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity.  “Wolves cling to a sliver of their historic habitat in the lower 48 and now the Obama administration wants to arbitrarily declare victory and move on. They need to finish the job that Americans expect, not walk away the first chance they get. This proposal is a  national disgrace and our wildlife deserve better.”

Wolves today occupy just 5 percent of their historic habitat in the continental United States. Today’s proposal means that wolves will never fully reoccupy prime wolf habitat in the southern Rocky Mountains, California and Northeast, and will hinder ongoing recovery in the Pacific Northwest.

The proposal will hand wolf management over to state wildlife agencies across most of the country – a step that has meant widespread killing in recent years. Following removal of protections for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes in 2011, states in those regions quickly enacted aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce wolf populations. In the northern Rocky Mountains more than 1,100 wolves have been killed since protections were removed; this year populations declined by 7 percent.

“By locking wolves out of prime habitat across most this country, this proposal perpetuates the global phenomena of eliminating predators that play hugely important roles in ecosystems,” said Greenwald. “Wolves are well documented to benefit a host of other wildlife from beavers and fish, to songbirds and pronghorn.”

In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, today’s proposal maintains protections for the Mexican gray wolf as a separate subspecies. Only 75 Mexican wolves roam a recovery area restricted to portions of Arizona and New Mexico. The population has not grown as expected because of a combination of illegal poaching and government mismanagement that requires wolves to be removed from the wild or killed when they leave the recovery area or depredate livestock.

wolf_and_plane

“It’s obvious that Mexican gray wolves continue to need protection and we’re glad they’re getting it,” said Greenwald. “But it is equally obvious that wolves in the Pacific Northwest, southern Rockies, California and Northeast also need continued protection.”

Press release–The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

 

 

St. Augustine Channel 1

This Week June 3 – 9

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Monday – Sunday: June 3 – 9

Picasso: Art & Arena Exhibit – An exhibition featuring dozens of Picasso originals, including many that have never been seen previously in the United States. PicassoBoth famous and rare, these pieces were produced in different styles, techniques and media; providing unique insights into one of Picasso’s main themes: bullfighting. The exhibition is at the Visitor Information Center,10 Castillo Dr. in St. Augustine. Admission: Adults $10; Seniors $8; Kids 6 & Under – Free; Kids 7 – 12 – $5; Family of 4 – $20; Military in Uniform – Free; Flagler College Student with ID – Free. The Picasso Exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily. www.picassoartandarena.com 904-825-1000

Tours of El Galeón – El Galeón, a unique replica of the 16th century Spanish galleons that sailed to and from newly-discovered Florida, will be open for tours at the St. Augustine City Marina thru June 9. Tickets are $15 for adults/$8 for children; Children 5 and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets are available at Ripley’s Red Train Ticket boothas and at the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 West Castillo Drive. The tours aboard El Galeón take place daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the St. Augustine Marina, 111 Avenida Memendez http://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/listings/view/23303

StarTrek Into Darkness: An IMAX 3D Experience – A 3D screening of the sequel to Abrams’ 2009 hit film that redefined the Star Trek universe for a new generation. Daily shows are at 1, 3:50, 7:00 and 9:45 p.m. at World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theatre, One World Golf Place, St. Augustine. 904-840-4133 www.worldgolfimax.com

Tuesday: June 4

Wine Class and Tasting at TPC Sawgrass – “Anything But Chardonnay” is the theme for this wine class and tasting at Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way Ponte Vedra Beach. The class is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 per person. Reservations are required. 904-543-5105 DanielleDavis@pagtourtpc.com

Taj Mahal and His Trio Band – Two-time Grammy Award winner Taj Mahal and His Trio Band will perform at 8 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Tickets are $55 and $65. 904-209-0399 www.pvconcerthall.com

Wednesday: June 5

River to Sea Preserve Trail Walk, Marineland – Visit the GTM Research Reserve at 9 a.m. for a free, guided hike in Flagler County’s “River to Sea Preserve.” Stroll along a mile-and half trail through wooded coastal hammock to the Matanzas River. Meet the guide in the parking lot of the River to Sea Preserve located on the west side of A1A at the southern end of the town of Marineland. A directional “NERR” road sign will also be placed at the entrance. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. http://gtmnerrmarinelandtrail.eventbrite.com
904-823-4500

Lightner Museum Curator Tours – Lightner Museum curator provides a themed interactive tour designed to give participants an opportunity to see acquisitions in operation rather than just as static displays. The tour, which is included in admission, takes place at 10 a.m. on the second floor of Lightner Museum, 75 King Street in St. Augustine. $10 adults; $6 for active duty military; $5 college student and youth ages 12-18; under 12 are free. 904-824-2874 www.lightnermuseum.org

School’s Out Eco Tour – Start the summer off right by getting the kids out on the water with an expert naturalist from the St. Augustine Eco Tours. See beautiful shorebirds, learn about dolphin behavior and enjoy the fresh air! Underwater microphones provide opportunities to listen for dolphin chatter. Departs at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m. from the Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez, $35 per adult, $30 kids 12 and under. 904-377-7245 www.staugustineecotours.com

Music By The Sea Concert Series 2013 – Live concert with the band Amy Alyssia & the Soul Operation playing Motown R & B take place from 7-9 p.m. at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Pavilion, 350 A1A Beach Blvd. Admission is free and local restaurant Amici’s Italian will offer signature dinners for $10. For comfortable seating, bring a folding chair. 904-347-8007 www.thecivicassociation.org

Free Movies By The Bay – Ripley’s St. Augustine Attractions and the St. Augustine Municipal Marina present free movies each Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer. The family fun feature, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, will bed shown at 8:30 p.m. at the Marina behind Bayfront Mini Golf, 111 Avenida Menendez. Bring beach chair and blanket for comfortable seating by the bay. 904-824-1606 www.facebook.com/saintaugustineripleys

Thursday – Sunday: June 6 – 9

Limelight Theatre Presents: Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? – A hysterical musical comedy set in a 1950′s Catholic School. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Limelight Theatre, located at 11 Old Mission Ave. in St. Augustine. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $20 for students and military. 904.825.1164 www.limelight-theatre.org

Thursday: June 9

Brew With a View – Low country boil, local craft beer and live music at St. Augustine Lighthouse 7 – 10 p.m. See the sunset from the top of the tower and the latest artifacts recovered by the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program’s archaeologists. The lighthouse is located at 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine. Tickets are $30 for non-members and $25 for members. 904-829-0745 www.StAugustineLighthouse.org

Concerts in the Plaza – Lis & Lon Williamson with Rick Kuncicky offer up their folk, country and swing. In addition, the evening will feature a screening of an episode of the popular television show Route 66, which was shot on location at the then Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College.7-9 p.m. in St. Augustine’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion, 1 King St. 904-825-1004 www.plazaconcerts.com

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: June 7 – 9

Marineland Film Festival and World Oceans Day Celebration – A weekend celebration of Marineland’s history on film and of the evolution of the film craft in the aquatic realm. Special screenings ofTiger Shark Express; Revenge of the Creature; Jonathan Bird’s Blue World; and Turtles: The Incredible Journey. Ticket packages start at $13.95 for adults and $9.95 for children. Marineland Dolphin Adventure is located at 9600 Oceanshore Blvd., Marineland 904-471-1111 www.marineland.net

St. Augustine Art Association Annual Honors Show – Features new works by artists who have won awards at association exhibits during the previous three years. The gallery is located at 22 Marine St., St. Augustine and is open Tuesday – Saturday noon – 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 – 5 p.m. Admission is free. 904-824-2310 http://www.staaa.org

Dog Days Art Exhibit – Opening reception for artist Sarah Emerson’s Dog Days exhibit is from 5-11 p.m. at St. Augustine’s space:eight Gallery, 228 West King Street, St. Augustine. Dog Days refers to the belief that these days of summer inspire evil. Emerson uses a candy-like palette to depict battlefields, natural and manmade disasters, barren landscapes inhabited by forest creatures and much more. Dog Days runs thru July 26. 904-829-2838 www.spaceeight.com

Friday: June 7

Kings of the Mic Tour LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy & De La Soul – Hip-hop recording artist LL Cool J will perform with DJ Z-Trip at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre as the headliner for the “Kings Of the Mic” Tour. Joining him will be legendary artists Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A. Tickets range from $85 – $45. Gates open at 5 p.m. and concert starts at 6:30 p.m. www.staugamphitheatre.com 904-471-1965

First Friday Art Walk – Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events from 5 – 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St. St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer attendees a complimentary shuttle service to most of the galleries. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. 904-829-0065 www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com

Parents Night Out: Kids Night at Alligator Farm – Give the kids have an evening of educational adventure at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The Alligator Farm will entertain kids 5 – 12 with hands-on animal presentations, a twilight zoo tour, crafts, nighttime games and pizza from 6 – 10 p.m. Cost is $25 per child for members and $30 for non-members. 904-824-3337 www.AlligatorFarm.com

Free Movies By The Bay – Ripley’s St. Augustine Attractions and the St. Augustine Municipal Marina present free movies each Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer. The classic film Sleepless in Seattle will be shown at 8:30 p.m. at the Marina behind Bayfront Mini Golf, 111 Avenida Menendez. Bring beach chair and blanket for comfortable seating by the bay. 904-824-1606 www.facebook.com/saintaugustineripleys

Saturday & Sunday: June 8 & 9

The Dance Company presents “Jubilee! Celebrating 20 Years of Dance” – Celebrate 20 Years of Dance at the Spring Recitals. The Performance Ensemble Concerts take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 149 Cordova St.,St. Augustine. Tickets are $15 each 904-471-4946 www.thedanceco.com

Saturday: June 8

World Ocean’s Day Kayak Tour – Paddle into a beautiful marine habitat in search of white and snowy egrets, great blue herons, terns, pelicans and maybe even a rare roseate spoonbill with the St. Augustine Eco Tours. Dolphins may cruise through the area and mullet fish may leap around you – it’s a different experience every time! Safe family enjoyment is the standard for these tours. Stable tandem kayaks allow you to snap photos and get some exercise without overexerting yourself. $40/adult with mention of this ad with your reservation. Tour time is 10 a.m. – noon. Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez, 904-377-7245 www.staugustineecotours.com

National Garden Week at Washington Oaks Garden – The Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Washington Oaks Gardens State Park celebrates National Garden Week with a special guided tour at 11 a.m. The formal gardens and restored 1940s greenhouse are included in the tour. Regular park entrance fee of $2 per person on bicycle; $4 per vehicle for single occupancy or $5 per vehicle, up to eight people applies. 6400 North Oeanshore Blvd., Palm Coast, 386-446-6783, www.FloridaStateParks.org

Greek Food Fair – From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents a Greek Food Fare featuring dancing and exceptional Greek food. Admission is free. The cost of the dinner being served from 4 – 7 p.m. is $16. 2940 County Road 214, 904-829-0504; www.holytrinitygoc.com

Unveiling of Corazon de Madre – Old Florida Museum’s Fort Menendez, 259 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine will unveil their newest attraction, a 70′ double mast 16th century replica ship named Corazon de Madre at a 4 p.m. ceremony. The original ship was commissioned by King Philip II of Spain in 1571. The museum is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children age 3 to 18. Ages 2 and under are free. 904-824-8874 www.oldfloridamuseum.com

GTM Reserve Guided Trail Hike – Join GTM Research Reserve volunteers from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. for a 1.5 mile guided walk through the Guana Trail. After the walk, visit the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center (EEC). The EEC is located at 505 Guana River Rd., Ponte Vedra Beach. There is a $3 parking fee. 904-823-4500

Musket Firing Demonstrations at Fort Matanzas – Reenactors fire flintlock muskets at Fort Matanzas National Monument 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Admission is free including the ferry ride to and from the island. Fort Matanzas is located at 8635 A1A, 15 miles south of St. Augustine. www.nps.gov/foma 904-471-0116

St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation Family Fun Day – Model boat building and races, shipwreck artifacts, tug-o’-war contests, cannon firings, youth sail rigging, boat safety, food, the on-going construction of a 16th century Spanish boat and much more will be featured at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave., St. Augustine. Event is 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is included in the regular park admission of $12 adults, $6 for children ages 6-12. 904-599-3800 www.staugmaritimeheritage.org

National Garden Week at Washington Oaks Garden – The Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Washington Oaks Gardens State Park celebrates National Garden Week with a special guided tour at 11 a.m. The formal gardens and restored 1940s greenhouse are included in the tour. Regular park entrance fee of $2 per person on bicycle; $4 per vehicle for single occupancy or $5 per vehicle, up to eight people applies. 6400 North Oeanshore Blvd., Palm Coast. 386-446-6783 www.FloridaStateParks.org

The St. Augustine Mariner’s Ball – The Pioneer Barn will host a Costume Ball celebrating 450 years of Maritime History in St. Augustine. Held 6-11 p.m. on the magical grounds of Fort Menendez, there will be a scavenger hunt, costume contest (cocktail attire can also be worn) and entertainment provided by “Mid Life Crisis” and the “Bilge Rats.” This is a fundraising event to benefit Lighthouse Maritime Camp and the “School of the 16th Century” presented in January by the Historic Florida Militia. Tickets are $40 per person or $70 per couple. A cash bar will be available. The Pioneer Barn at Fort Menendez is located at 259 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. 904-823-9852 www.oldfloridamuseum.com

Sunday: June 9

Second Sunday Solarium Teas – The newly restored Solarium in Flagler College’s former Hotel Ponce de Leon, also known as 400 Rotunda, will host two daily teas on the second Sunday of each month. Guests have a choice of three teas (one specially blended for the Hotel Ponce de Leon), a selection of traditional tea sandwiches and sweets. The teas take place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Reservations required. 904-823-3378 www.legacy.flagler.edu

Fantasy Flutes Concert – Concert flutist Melissa Lucia will be joined by pianist Michael Clark and flutist Christine Alicot for an afternoon of Vivaldi and more at the St. Augustine Art Association, 22 Marine Street. The free concert is from 2-3 p.m. Reservations required. 904-824-2310 www.staaa.org

Murder in The Old City – A murder mystery in the nation’s oldest city, combined with great dining, creates a memorable and enjoyable evening of entertainment. Tickets to this five-star dinner theatre experience at the Raintree Restaurant are $39.95 (adult beverages served separately). Dinner is served at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. arrival suggested) and the show begins at 7 p.m. The Raintree is located 102 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. 904-824-7211

Local Resident Specials

NOTE: St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth (special events excluded), the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and the Legacy Tours at Flagler College. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Fort Matanzas National Monument, St. Photios Chapel, the Pena-Peck House, the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum (donations are welcomed). Many other local attractions offer discounted admissions to St. Johns County residents with valid ID.

For more information on events and activities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com or call 1-800-653-2489.

To submit events to be included on the VCB Events calendar and website, please submit details to FHCeventlist@gmail.com.

Source: Visitors and Convention Bureau

This week: February 4 – 10

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Monday through Sunday: February 4 – 10

Picasso: Art & Arena Exhibit – An exhibition featuring dozens of Picasso originals,Picasso including many that have never been seen previously in the United States. Both famous and rare, these pieces were produced in different styles, techniques and media; providing unique insights into one of Picasso’s main themes: bullfighting. The exhibition will be at the Visitor Information Center,10 Castillo Dr. in St. Augustine. Admission: Adults $10; Seniors $8; Kids 6 & Under – Free; Kids 7 – 12 – $5; Family of 4 – $20; Military in Uniform – Free; Flagler College Student with ID – Free. The Picasso Exhibit will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday – Thursday; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. www.picassoartandarena.com 904-825-1000

“Negro Y Blanco” Art Exhibit at Space Eight – Exhibition of black and white creations by artist Anthony Ausgang. Titled “Negro Y Blanco,” the exhibit takes place at the Space Eight Gallery, 228 W. King St., in St. Augustine. 904-829-2838 www.spaceeight.com

Celebrate Art: 6th Annual Juried Artist Member Exhibition – Thirty-five of the area’s finest artists will present their juried works in this popular members’ exhibition. The galleries are free and open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra, 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-280-0614 www.ccpvb.org

Big Red Art Show – A celebration of the color red includes works that convey a range of moods and meanings with any variation of the spectrum’s hottest color. The St. Augustine Art Association Gallery is located at 22 Marine St. in St. Augustine and is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. www.staaa.org 904-824-2310

Monday – Friday : February 4 – 7

Hotel Ponce De Leon Carrere & Hastings Blueprint Exhibit – In commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Ponce de Leon Hotel, historically and culturally significant ephemera relating to the construction and early years of the Hotel Ponce de Leon will be on display through February 22. This exhibit includes original Carrere and Hastings and McGuire drawings and blueprints, photographs, a copy of an 1885 map, and construction documents. Additionally, the exhibit highlights a group of artists who made the Hotel Ponce de Leon their seasonal home during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Original artwork and other artifacts related to their time in Saint Augustine will also be displayed at Flagler College’s Crisp – Ellert Art Museum, located at 48 Sevilla St.,
St. Augustine. The museum is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free. www.ponce125.com 904-829-6481

Tuesday: February 5

Hotel Ponce de Leon Studios Lecture – At 7 p.m., Dr. Roberta Favis, Stetson University Professor Emeritus of Art History, will present a lecture titled “The Ponce de Leon Studios: Artists and Salons in Florida’s Gilded Age”. The free lecture will take place in the Flagler Room of Flagler College, 74 King Street, St. Augustine. 904-826-8530 www.ponce125.com

Wednesday: February 6

First Wednesdays Lightner Museum Tours – Lightner Museum curator provides an exclusive encounter with some of the museum’s eclectic relics. The themed interactive tours are changed monthly and are designed to give participants an opportunity to talk with the curator and to see acquisitions in operation rather than just as static displays. This month’s tour will feature painted works by Edwin Augustus Moore which are on exhibit for a limited time on the 2nd floor mezzanine level of the Lightner Museum. Tours begin at 10 a.m. on the second floor of the museum located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. The tour is included in the regular admission price of $10 adults; active duty military $6; $5 college students and young people ages 12-18; free for under 12. 904-824-2874 www.lightnermuseum.org

Marineland Beach Walk – The GTM Research Reserve presents a free, guided walk along the beach at Marineland. The hike focuses on birdlife, habitats and the unusual geology of the shore. The 90-minute hike begins at 9 a.m. Watch for the temporary event sign posted on the west side of A1A at the south end of Marineland. 904-823-4500

Wildlife Boat Tour – Enjoy a special 1.5 hour Dolphin & Nature tour, perfect for spotting Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, interesting shorebirds, and serene salt marsh habitats. Listen for dolphin chatter with underwater microphones! $35/adult or $175 for a group of 6. Departures are at 2:30 & 4:30 p.m. 904-377-7245 www.staugustineecotours.com

“Fort Mose: Thirty Years of Discovery” – Dr. Jane Landers of Vanderbilt University and Dr. Kathleen Deagan from the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, will discuss the archaeology and history of St. Augustine’s Fort Mose, the first legally-sanctioned black community in what is now the United States, The free lecture takes place at 7 p.m. in the Flagler Room of Flagler College, 74 King Street, St. Augustine. Info: 904-823-2232; www.flagler.edu

Eco Geek Series at the GTM Research Reserve – These 3-4 p.m. presentations focus on the latest technology used in environmental research. How Humans Have Used the Environment to Their Advantage will take place at the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center, 505 Guana River Rd. in South Ponte Vedra. Participation is free with $3 per vehicle reserve admission. 904-823-4500 www.gtmnerr.org/index.htm

Enduring Love: Stories From Cupid’s Quiver – Ensemble program features Wayne and Jane Sims’ “All’s Fair in Love and War” — the Civil War courtship of St. Augustine’s own Confederate General Edmund Kirby-Smith and his bride Cassie Selden. The 7:30 p.m. performance is at the Limelight Studios Theatre, 11 Old Mission Ave. in St. Augustine. Tickets are $10. 904-823-7969

Thursday through Sunday: February 7 – 10

A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – A Classic Theatre reprises its presentation of Joan Didion’s powerful memoir of love and loss. Didion’s essays have appeared in Life, Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post and The New York Times. Performances times at the Pioneer Barn at Fort Menendez, 259 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $15 for students and groups of 15 or more. www.fortmenendez.com 904-824-8874

Limelight Theater Presents Lost in Yonkers – Neil Simon’s coming of age tale about a young man who must come to terms with his bleak life in Yonkers. The production takes place Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at Limelight Theatre, 11 Old Mission Ave., St. Augustine. Tickets are priced at $25 for adults; $22 for seniors; and $20 for students and active-duty military. www.limelight-theatre.org
904-825-1164

Saturday: February 9

Second Saturdays GTM Reserve Guided Trail Hike – Join GTM Research Reserve volunteers from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. for a 1.5 mile guided walk through the Guana Trail. After the walk, visit the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center (EEC). The EEC is located at 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach. There is a $3.00 parking fee. 904-823-4500

Flight to Freedom Fort Mose – Unique living history event depicts the flight of slaves from the British colonies to St. Augustine’s Fort Mose where they are freed by the Spanish. From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. there will be guided tours, food, drumming and music, authentic historic reenactors, colonial weapons demonstrations and more. It all takes place at Fort Mose Historic State Park, located at 15 Fort Mose Trail just north of St. Augustine. Free shuttle service from the Old Jail at 167 San Marco Ave. will be provided. Admission to the park is $2 per person. 904-823-2232 http://www.floridastateparks.org/fortmose/default.cfm

Great Backyard Bird Count – Two Saturday adventures for birders from novice to expert begin at the Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main Street in St. Augustine. At 2 p.m. on Feb. 9, an Audubon expert provides an informative presentation on how to identify birds likely to be seen in St. Augustine. Plus, field guide leaders who will be heading out on the bird count the following Saturday will be present and a go-kit with basic birding information will be available. Then from 10 a..m – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, participants will head out to count as many feathered friends as possible! Guides will offer suggestions on locations and will be present at many key birding sites. Last year, St. Augustine placed 5th nationally in this nationwide bird counting event. 904-209-3730 e-mail aibirdcount@gmail.com

St. Augustine Chocolate Tour – Guided journey to the finest chocolatiers in St. Augustine. Learn the history of chocolate while sampling truffles, pastries, and gooey delights. The 2 hours tour departs at 1:30 p.m. from the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 27 San Marco Ave. The tour cost is $60. www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/tour-chocolate.asp
904-829-3800

First Coast Opera Performs Puccini’s Turandot – First Coast Opera performs Turandot,Puccini’s final operatic masterpiece, sung in Italian by international cast accompanied by a full orchestra. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St. in St. Augustine. Advance tickets $25, $30 at door. Students with ID $10. 904-417-5555 www.FirstCoastOpera.com

Sunday: February 10

Murder in The Old City – A murder mystery in the nation’s oldest city, combined with great dining, creates a memorable and enjoyable evening of entertainment. Tickets to this five-star dinner theatre experience at the Raintree Restaurant are $39.95 (adult beverages served separately). Dinner is served at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. arrival suggested) and the show begins at 7 p.m. The Raintree is located 102 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine.
904-824-7211

Tour of St. Augustine Houses of Worship – Self-guided walking tour provides an opportunity to learn about the Oldest City’s historic houses of worship. Hosts will be available to explain the history and architecture of each and St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains will provide a special free shuttle between locations. Tour maps will be provided and parking will be available at some of the locations. The tour is from 1:30 to 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but donations are appreciated. For more information, call Grace United Methodist Church, 904.829-8272.

Wedding Vow Renewal: World Record Attempt – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in St. Augustine hosts an attempt to set a new record for the world’s largest wedding vow renewal ceremony — 1,087 couples are needed! Registration is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with the big ceremony at 2 p.m.. To take the vow, couples need a copy of their marriage license, valid ID and a signed photo release (provided onsite or on website). Participating couples get lots of goodies including a flower, wedding cake, romantic train ride down the bay front, confetti, live music and dancing — it’s all FREE! Ripley’s is located at 19 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. www.ripleys.com/staugustine 904-824-1606

EMMA Concert Series: Thomas Pandolfi – The leading American pianist interpreter of the works of George Gershwin, performs at 2 p.m. in the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St. in St. Augustine. Tickets are $25. www.EmmaConcerts.com 904-797-2800
Local Resident Specials

NOTE: St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth (special events excluded), the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, Spanish Military Hospital Museum, and the Historic Tours of Flagler College. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission isfree to everyone at the Authentic Old Drug Store, Fort Matanzas National Monument, St. Photios Chapel, the Pena-Peck House, the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum (donations are welcomed).

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum and Red Train Tours will be offering discoutned rates to St. John’s County residents through February 8, 2013. Admission to Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-11. The Red Train tours will also extend this discount to residents for a one day pass on the Red Trains!

For more information on events and activities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com or call 1-800-653-2489

To submit events to be included on the VCB Events calendar and website, please submit details to FHCeventlist@gmail.com.

Source: Visitors and Convention Bureau

Dan Culberson

My Cold, Dead Fingers The Naked Curmudgeon by Dan Culberson

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The Naked Curmudgeon curmudgeon n [origin unknown] (1577) a crusty, ill-tempered, and usu. old man. naked adj 6: devoid of concealment or disguise. Attempting to cover everything that annoys me, Dan Culberson.

Here’s what gets me.

Does it have to take an English major to explain the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution and put to rest this unjustifiable crutch of the right-wing, gun-toting fanatics and their conservative supporters?

For those of you who don’t remember, Amendment II states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Even for those of you who do remember, Amendment II states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That is what it says word for word, comma for comma, capitalization for capitalization. Notice that the subject is “Militia,” the verb is “shall not be infringed,” and the sentence becomes “A well regulated Militia shall not be infringed.”

“What about the bits between commas?” you say? Those are two appositional phrases, and an apposition is “a grammatical construction in which a noun or pronoun is followed by another that explains it.”

The subject, a noun (See how it works?), is followed by “being necessary to the security of a free State,” and it is followed by “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” in order to explain “a well regulated Militia,” the subject of the sentence.

The subject cannot be “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” because you cannot put a single comma between the subject and the verb of a sentence. You cannot write “The dog, ran around the yard.” You can write “The dog, being frightened by the gunfire, ran around the yard,” because now we have two commas separating the subject and the verb. You can also write “The dog, being frightened by the gunfire, the pet of the neighbor, ran around the yard.”

That sentence is not “The pet of the neighbor, ran around the yard,” because that would be ungrammatical, just as “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is ungrammatical and therefore not the sentence of Amendment II.

“The right of the people to keep and bear Arms” is an apposition that explains the subject, “a well regulated Militia,” just as the other apposition, “being necessary to the security of a free State,” does. It is a “Militia” that is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” which is necessary to the security of a free State and which shall not be infringed.

In other words, the citizens of the United States have the right to keep and bear Arms in “a well regulated Militia,” not to stockpile weapons at home and to carry a gun around with them in some Old West mentality.

And what did the sheriff in the Old West do to maintain order? Do the words “Check your guns at the door” strike a familiar note? That didn’t mean “Inspect your guns to ensure that they are in proper working order.” That meant “Turn your guns in at the door. It’s too dangerous for you to carry guns here.”

Now, the possibility of everyone having a concealed weapon might deter a few criminal acts, but the probability that hotheads and teenagers carrying a weapon could use it in a moment of unbridled emotion is far greater.

Sir William Blackstone (1723-80), a British jurist and Oxford instructor who was the first at a British university to teach English law as opposed to Roman law (See how those appositions work?), wrote in his great work Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69), “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.”

I believe it is better that ten crimes be committed than one innocent victim be killed by a convenient handgun.

Luke Woodham, a teenager in Pearl, Mississippi, who is spending the rest of his life in prison for murdering his mother and two fellow students in October 1997 when he was 16, kept a map on his bedroom wall with the slogan “One Nation Under My Gun.” Do we want our immature, impressionable children growing up and believing this heinous claim?

We used to see so-called Amendment II supporters brag “I’ll give up my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”

After a moment of rage, I don’t want those cold, dead fingers to be mine.

I rest my case.

Lincoln Movie

“Lincoln” about Our Greatest President

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“Our Greatest President”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

 

Lincoln is an excellent film about the last few months of the life of our 16th president when he was faced with an almost impossible task: Get the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed by a lame-duck congress before the Civil War ends.

The 13th Amendment states simply, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitute, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The time was January 1865, Lincoln had just been reelected to his second term, the resolution had been passed the previous year by the Senate, but defeated by the House, and Lincoln was trying to get it passed by the House so that it would become law before the Civil War ended and the Southern representatives rejoined Congress, in which case it would never be passed.

So, the film is about the wheeling and dealing in Washington in order to get something achieved, which makes it as timely as today’s Washington.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln, and at one point he tells his cabinet of officers, “As the preacher said, I could write shorter sermons, but once I start, I get too lazy to stop.”

We are told that it is not illegal to bribe Congressmen, because they starve otherwise, which may or may not be true, and we see many of the influences being peddled by the men who are working to get the amendment passed, which becomes complex and confusing, but don’t try to follow and understand everything. Just let the story and its details wash over you and admire them.

Especially admire the work of Day-Lewis as Lincoln, as well as the outstanding work of Sally Field, James Spader, and Tommy Lee Jones, among many others.

Also admire the directing of Steven Spielberg, although you might be distracted by the opening scene and think that it is too much of a reminder of the opening of the 1998 Saving Private Ryan.

In fact, there are many parallels in this film that are intended to make a point and a reference to our modern times, and that is perfectly acceptable.

Lincoln is a great film about whom many claim to be our greatest president.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

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U.S.’s Mexican gray wolves threatened by inbreeding: Terra Infirma by Ron Baird

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Terra Infirma by Ron Baird
This former Colorafo State Forrest Service writer tells the truth about what is really happening to our environment in C1Ns Terra Infirma by Ron Baird.

Release of More Mexican Gray Wolves to Wild Needed to Stop Genetic Inbreeding

This Week Marks Four Years Since Last Release of Captive-bred Wolf

SILVER CITY, N.M.— To mark this week’s four-year anniversary of the last release of a Mexican gray wolf into the southwestern wilderness, the Center for Biological Diversity has called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to dramatically increase the number of wolves in the wild. This is needed to stave off genetic inbreeding, which scientists say may now be limiting the size and health of some wolf litters.

Under pressure from the livestock industry, the Service has ceased releasing captive-bred wolves into the wild in recent years. Unfortunately this means there’s little genetic diversity flowing into the fledgling wild wolf population, which compromises the ability of the 58 wolves in Arizona and New Mexico to grow healthily and sustainably.

“By starving the wild wolf population of new animals, the Fish and Wildlife Service is stacking the odds against their recovery,” said the Center’s wolf specialist, Michael Robinson. “Resuming the release of wolves into the wild is absolutely essential to overcoming inbreeding and ensuring the success of this wolf recovery program.”

All Mexican wolves in the world today stem from just seven animals captured alive from the wild in Mexico and the United States, the last one in 1980. After reintroduction of the wolves to Arizona and New Mexico began in 1998, the Fish and Wildlife Service had many of the most genetically valuable wolves shot or trapped on behalf of the livestock industry. Consequently the captive population will have to jump-start the wild population again.

“Too many wolves have been taken out of the wild, both by the government and by poachers. That’s a tragedy, and it puts the Mexican wolf’s future in jeopardy,” said Robinson.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba – free concert November 4

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St. Augustine Amphitheatre Celebrates City’s History and 450th Anniversary with Free Performance by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba

As part of its first tour of the United States since the Castro Revolution, The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will perform a free, non-ticketed concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 4 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South. The orchestra’s performance will be presented as a gift to the City of St. Augustine and St. Johns County from the University of Florida and its partnering organizations. This classical presentation will signify the launch of a three-year cultural collaboration that will acknowledge the 500th Anniversary of the landing of Juan Ponce de León in 2013; the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014; and the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration in 2015. For more than 50 years, the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba has been instrumental in introducing Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community. The presentation, which will include the Cuban Overture as well as compositions by Beethoven, Gershwin, and Lecuona is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates open at 3 p.m. For more information please visit www.staugamphitheatre.com

Source: City of St. Augustine

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