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Archive for July, 2007|Monthly archive page

Robin Roberts To Battle Breast Cancer

In Culture, Health, Just News, Media, news, Sports on July 31, 2007 at 3:52 pm

Robin Roberts from ABC.com

One of my heroes, Robin Roberts, announced this morning that she has breast cancer but is ready to take it on. She made her announcement on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer by her side. She says the cancer is in the early stages and that surgery has been scheduled for this Friday.

For the story in Robin’s own words, read here.

The AP’s story is here:

NEW YORK – ABC “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing surgery Friday.

Roberts, 46, told viewers about her cancer on Tuesday morning’s show.

“I am so blessed that I found this in the early stages and the prognosis is so promising that my doctor expects me to be flying planes and hanging on to submarines in the middle of the Atlantic and scaling the Mayan pyramids in no time,” she said.

Roberts, who is co-anchor of “Good Morning America” with Diane Sawyer, said she examined herself and found a lump on her breast the same day she had done a report on former “GMA” movie critic Joel Siegel, who died of colon cancer last month. The network wouldn’t say which breast was affected.

Roberts, who is single, said there is no history in her family of breast cancer.

She’s been a contributor to ABC’s morning program since 1995 and was the newsreader before being named in May 2005 as one of the show’s anchors.

Former ABC news anchor Peter Jennings announced on “World News Tonight” in April 2005 that he had lung cancer. He never appeared on the air again and died four months later.

 

 

Read Robin’s bio too. Do any of you remember her from her ESPN days???

Hey Robin – You can do this!

Feds Search Senator Ted Stevens’ Alaskan Home

In news, Politics on July 31, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Ted Stevens

Remember the whole “Bridge to Nowhere” ordeal and the pinhead behind it? That would be Republican Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska and in case you haven’t heard, he’s in the news again.

On Monday the F.B.I. and I.R.S. raided his home for evidence about his relationship with a businessman that overlooked the renovation of Stevens’ Alaska home. The agents took video and photos throughout the home and left with a large bag of unidentified items.

Today, the AP is reporting:

Barbara Flanders, who serves as a financial clerk for Stevens on the Commerce Committee, testified in the past several weeks and provided documents regarding the senator’s bills, according to an attorney in the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because grand jury matters are secret by law.

Investigators are scrutinizing Stevens’ relationship with oil field services contractor Bill Allen, who helped oversee a complicated renovation project that more than doubled the size of Stevens’ home in 2000. Allen’s company, VECO Inc., won tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts. Allen has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska lawmakers.

Stevens won’t comment on Flanders or her role in his finances but he has said that he has done nothing wrong and that the renovations on his home came directly from his own money.

No charges have been brought forth…yet.

For the full story about the raid on Stevens’ home, read here.

Is Fred Thompson Running Out Of Time For A Presidential Run?

In Election 2008, news, Politics on July 30, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Thompson

If fund raising goes hand-in-hand with a candidate’s chance at a presidential ticket, then Fred Thompson’s opportunity may be slim.

From The Politico:

Fred Thompson plans to announce Tuesday that his committee to test the waters for a Republican presidential campaign raised slightly more than $3 million in June, substantially less than some backers had hoped, according to Republican sources.

Thompson plans to make the disclosure in a filing with the Internal Revenue Service, as he continues to operate his prospective campaign as a political organization that does not require disclosure to the Federal Election Commission.

With staffing and money problems, many Thompson supports are beginning to lose hope. Could it be because he has waited so long to announce his candidacy? Some speculate that he may not even announce his GOP run until September.

But going back to the whole “testing-the-waters” issue:

“There has been some criticism that the testing-the-waters committee is not such a testing-the-waters committee and that he’s running some sort of campaign,” said a Thompson adviser.

“He’s raising enough to test the waters, not run a full-fledged presidential campaign. He’s not a candidate.”

The adviser said the figure was enough for Thompson to hire some staff, do some travel and work on his policy initiatives.

“It’s not going to be a huge number for a presidential campaign. It’s a testing-the-waters-type number. The number will reflect that goal. He hasn’t been campaigning. He’s been talking to people about whether that figure is the direction he definitely wants to go.”

Come on Fred…run already! The other candidates are quite boring and are losing my attention fast. Besides, whoever is directing you to make these untimely decisions should be fired. You’ll never have a chance if you keep going this way.

For the full story click here.

Houston #1 in Total Acreage of Parkland

In Houston, Just News, Local News on July 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm

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We already know Houston has some of the most beautiful and spacious parks. Someone else agrees!

Last week Houston was placed on the map among other top ten cities by the National Survey of City Parks.

From the City of Houston webiste:

HOUSTON RANKED NO. 1 IN TOTAL ACREAGE OF PARKLAND AMONG TOP TEN U.S. CITIES
Mayor Bill White Spotlights National Survey of City Parks

July 24, 2007 – Mayor Bill White today hailed The Trust for Public Land’s new survey that indicates Houston rates first among the nation’s top 10 cities in total acreage of parkland and second behind only San Diego in park acreage per capita.

The findings by the Trust for Public Land indicate that of the nation’s 10 most populous cities, none had more total park space than Houston with 56,405 acres. Houston’s 27.2 acres per 1,000 residents ranks second only to San Diego with 35.6 acres per 1,000 residents with nearly 45,000 total acres within its limits. Houston is well over the national average of 18.8 acres per 1,000 residents. The survey includes parks operated within the city by Harris County, the Houston Parks Board, Fort Bend County, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the City Parks and Recreation Department.

“Parks are where families, friends and neighbors spend time and create memories. This is an important story to tell about the quality of life in Houston,” said Mayor Bill White. “We are pleased to see our city rates very high in providing such an important asset to Houstonians. But we will do more to improve what we offer the public. We want to be No. 1.”

Houston and Harris County recently obtained approximately 5,000 acres of park space with the acquisition of Lake Houston Park in Northeast Houston. The 12-acre Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston is scheduled to open in early 2008. Construction of a detention basin will connect various portions of Keith-Weiss Park adding to its usability, while providing capacity for managing flooding along Halls Bayou, on the city’s north side. Additional announcements on new park space will be made in coming weeks.

The City, in cooperation with Harris County, the Houston Parks Board, Fort Bend County and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department worked to account for all available parks and green space operated by the various agencies, within the city limits of Houston, for this survey.

“We thank the Trust for Public Lands. We have worked hard to make sure that Houston’s figures reflect a more accurate picture of our community and the TPL has been receptive to that,” added Mayor White.

Yea for us! I love the fact that although Houston is such a large city, we have numerous parks to choose from.

Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds: Politically Very Different

In Baseball, Culture, Just News, Politics, Sports on July 27, 2007 at 6:37 pm

Hank AaronBarry Bonds

Kenneth Vogel’s article in The Politico today makes an interesting comparison between the two baseball legends.

…political junkies may find another, less-scrutinized difference interesting: the two men’s level of political engagement. Or, more precisely, Bonds’ relative lack of engagement and Aaron’s robust, though not particularly well-known, political involvement. And it’s not limited to the $40,000 he and his wife, Billye Aaron, have contributed, primarily to Democratic committees and candidates — including Hillary Rodham Clinton — since the 1990s, when such information first became electronically available.

As Bonds closes in on Aaron’s record of 755 career home runs amid allegations that his late-career power surge was fueled by steroids, he has participated in community outreach efforts organized by his team, the San Francisco Giants. And he has financed his own charitable organization. But, by all indications, he hasn’t used his name — or his cash — to advance political causes or candidates in his native California or elsewhere.

The article goes on to discuss Aaron’s participation in such movements as voting rights for black Americans and involvement with politicians seeking office.

Hank Aaron continues to be an active participant in politics today.

The article is rightly named Hank Aaron: Politico. Barry Bonds: Not.

I will admit that I have never been a Barry Bonds fan going as far back as when he played for the Pirates. I developed a dislike for him around 1988 mostly because of his pomp ass interviews and his ever growing ego. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of hate mail for this. Still, I hate watching him come up to bat against my beloved Astros not because of who he is but because he IS a spectacular player. But honestly…would he be in the same place today had it not been for the little artificial boost he got over the years? In any case, he is right behind Hank and I commend him for getting there – no matter how he has done it.

Begin your comments now…I know you want to…

Cyworld: South Korea’s Version of MySpace

In Culture, Fun Stuff, Internet, Just News, news, Politics, South Korea, Technology, World News on July 24, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Picture from Newsweek.com

Very cool story. Just as our American teens and 20-somethings are staying connected through social networks such as MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook young people in South Korea are doing the same. What really mirrors the two nations is the fact that they too are using this means to learn more about their presidential candidates.

Their version is called Cyworld and was created back in 1999. There are other networking sites in South Korea; however, Cyworld has recently become #1 with approximately 20 million users daily. And just how successful is Cyworld?

Newsweek.com states:

…an estimated $146 million in revenue. (MySpace, by contrast, brought in nearly $200 million in 2006; Facebook a little over $100 million.)

For just a blip about Cyworld’s creation:

Cyworld, says its creators at SK Communications—South Korea’s top Internet provider—was designed to appeal to Koreans with its two-dimensional bubbly cartoon characters and bold graphics. Users exchange real money for the Cyworld currency of dotori, which translates as “acorns.” With it they can accessorize their own pages or buy gifts for others. The virtual currency has become so popular that it spills over into real life, too. Jung-Eun Lee, a 33-year-old Seoul-based reporter, for example, says her birthday gifts included dotori from her husband and Cyworld gifts from friends.

And regarding the political aspect of the network:

Not surprisingly, the politicians’ Cyworld homepages—known as “minihompys”—blend right in with those of their young constituents. The candidates design their characters—complete with virtual wardrobe; fix up their Cyworld homes; they even have Cyworld buddies who generally consist of their supporters. The candidates reach out to their buddies via messages, articles or save-the-date memos for campaign-related events. Another key feature: in order to register, Cyworld users must have a Korean national ID number, so candidates can be sure they’re connecting with genuine voters.

Can you image how our candidates would choose their images? And I’m not ready to see the virtual homes of Ron Paul or John Edwards. Eck! We already have! It’s called Second Life!

Read the whole story about Cyworld at Newsweek.com.

Illegal Immigrants Issued ID Cards In Connecticut

In Are you kidding me?, Connecticut, Economy, Immigration, Just News, Local News, Media, news, Politics on July 24, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Downtown New Haven Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut has become the first to adopt a program that issues ID cards to illegal immigrants.

From Reuters:

New Haven will offer illegal immigrants municipal identification cards that allow access to city services such as libraries and a chance to open bank accounts.

Supporters say the cards will improve public safety and give undocumented workers protections now afforded legal residents. Critics contend it will unleash a flood of illegal immigration, straining services and wasting taxpayer money.

The program started today. Part of me thinks it’s a good idea but on the other side I’m frustrated that we aren’t doing enough to take care of our own legal citizens.

I need more time to ponder on this. What do you think?

Read the whole story here.

YouTube Democratic Debate A Success

In Economy, Election 2008, Health, Internet, Media, Military, news, Politics, Technology, War in Iraq, YouTube on July 23, 2007 at 9:31 pm

From CNN

This just in…The YouTube format for tonight’s presidential debate was a success!

Because we didn’t have journalists or audience members with “prepped” questions, the YouTube video questions ranged from slavery, gay marriage and the disabled to women and the draft. Although some of the older candidates looked quite uncomfortable during this type of forum, Clinton, and Obama stood tall in their comfort zone; however, Edwards seemed a little shaky.

In all, 39 questions made it into the debate.

Having the debate in this fashion made the questions more personable. We got to meet a woman named Kim fighting breast cancer asking questions about health care insurance and two women named Mary and Jen. They wanted to know why they could not be married. Tony asked the candidates if women should be allowed to registered for the draft.

There were serious questions and some with a splash of humor. Anderson Cooper did a great job keeping everyone in line and on time.

I think this event has just opened a new door for interest in the debates and politics, not to mention participation. I also think it will be very hard to go back to the “old way” of conducting debates in a stuffy format.

For a wrap-up of the debate, check out the article on CNN.com. And watch all of the video questions here.

If you would like to submit your own video question for the September 17th Republican Debate, go here.

By the way…Here is my favorite video of the evening:

An Arm, A Leg, and A Cup Of Starbucks Coffee

In Culture, Economy, Just News, news on July 23, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Starbucks

Ouch. As if I’m not spending enough at Starbucks. My Venti Decaf Non-Fat No Whip Raspberry Mocha is going to cost 3% more!!!

This from the AP today:

SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp. said today it was raising prices for its coffee and other freshly made drinks in most of its U.S. stores by 9 cents this month, citing rising costs, including dairy products, energy and fuel.

In a statement issued after markets closed, Starbucks said the price hike will take effect July 31, bumping the cost of most drinks by about 3 percent.

The increase will apply to coffees, lattes, frozen Frappuccinos and some tea-based drinks, including fruit and tea blends made behind the counters in all of its domestic company-operated stores, company spokesman Brandon Borrman said.

The increase will not apply to bottled drinks or food, Borrman said.

The company’s last price increase — 5 cents — took effect Oct. 3, 2006.

The world’s largest specialty coffee retailer has nearly than 6,300 company-operated stores in the United States, plus about 3,500 licensed stores. It has almost 14,000 stores worldwide.

Oh well. Just like the hike in gas prices, I need my coffee to get by so I will continue to be a slave to the espresso machine. 😦

Democratic Presidental Debate Tonight Sponsored By CNN and YouTube

In Internet, Just News, Media, news, Politics, YouTube on July 23, 2007 at 6:33 am

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Tonight the Democrats take on one another in South Carolina. The event is sponsored by CNN and YouTube and will include video questions that YouTube users have uploaded. The campaigned called “YouChoose ’08” will return in September in St. Petersburg, Florida with the Republicans at the podium.

Tonight’s debate will air at 7p.m. EST.

To find out what questions will be chosen (and we all know that they will be carefully screened!) click here.