Occupy protest rekindles debate about flag-burning

Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Many in the crowd outside Oakland City Hall shouted "Burn it! Burn it!" as masked protesters readied to set fire to an American flag. That's when a woman emerged from the scrum, screaming for them to stop, that it would hurt the cause.
Moments later, the flames began, and suddenly a movement that seemingly vanished weeks ago was back in the spotlight, this time for an act of protest that has long divided the nation and now the movement itself.
The images of the flag-burning went viral in the hours after Saturday's demonstrations on Oakland's streets, with Occupy supporters denouncing the act as unpatriotic and a black mark on the movement. Others called it justified.
The flag-burning, however, raised questions about whether the act will tarnish a movement of largely peaceful protests and alienate people who agree with its message against corporate excess and economic inequality.
"I'm quite confident that the general view is that violence of this sort - whether it's symbolic or otherwise - is contrary to the spirit of the movement and should be renounced," Columbia University sociologist Todd Gitlin said.
Gitlin, who is writing a book about the movement, noted that flags have had a prominent place at the Occupy Wall Street encampments that sprang up last fall. They are typically pinned to tents or waving from wooden flagpoles.
"I was thinking how they have come to embrace the American flag as a hallmark of this movement; it's very common to see American flags honored and elevated at these encampments," he said.
Flag-burning has been a powerful symbol since the days of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Congress at the time passed a law to protect the flag in 1968, and most states followed suit.
In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court decided such laws were unconstitutional restrictions on free speech. The court's decision set off a move in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to prohibit desecration of the flag. An attempt in 2006 failed by only one vote in the Senate.
In Oakland, social activism and civic unrest have long marked the rough-edged city across the bay from San Francisco. Beset by poverty, crime and a decades-long tense relationship between the police and residents, its streets have seen many clashes, including anti-draft protests in the 1960s that spilled into town from neighboring Berkeley.
At Occupy Oakland, flag-burning is nothing new. A well-known Bay Area activist burned three during protests that temporarily shut down the Port of Oakland in November.
Troy Johnson, an Occupy Oakland member, said he arrived just in time Saturday to watch his friend, whom he would not name in order to protect his identity, emerge from City Hall with an American flag in tow.
"He asked the crowd, `What do you want us to do with the flag?'" Johnson recalled. "They said, `Burn it! Burn it! Burn it!'"
As many egged on the bandanna-masked men, lighters were passed around. A photographer on assignment for The Associated Press said a woman rose from among the crowd to urge against the flag-burning. She then threw the flag to the ground and tried to put out the fire, shouting at them that it would only hurt their cause.
The fire-starter is not an anarchist, but a typical member of Occupy Oakland who feels the system has failed them, said Johnson, who pulled out his cellphone to show his recording of the flag-burning.
"I would describe him as someone who loves his country, but also disappointed in the system that's running this country," said Johnson, who goes by the nickname "Uncle Boom" and was a sergeant in the U.S. Army.
Johnson said he wouldn't stop the flag-burning because the country is based on freedom of speech and expression.
"To the veterans who fought for this country, I wholeheartedly apologize," he said. "Because when they took the oath to join the military, they fought for the flag. But they also fought for the right to express ourselves."
Another Occupy member, Sean Palmer, who served in the Marines, said he opposed flag-burning. "I think they should've hung it upside down, because that's the international call for distress and that's what we are, in distress," Palmer said.
Saturday's protest culminated in rock- and bottle-throwing and volleys of tear gas from the police, as well as the City Hall break-in that left glass cases smashed, graffiti spray-painted on the walls and, finally, the flag-burning.
Police said more than 400 people were arrested; at least three officers and one protester were injured.
Police said Monday that they were still trying to determine how many of those arrested were from Oakland. In the past, the majority of those arrested in Occupy sweeps were not Oakland residents and this has rankled city officials. Mayor Jean Quan has called on the loosely organized movement to "stop using Oakland as its playground."
Officials said vandalism and activities related to Occupy Oakland have cost the financially strapped city $5 million since October.
Oakland Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said she was disgusted not to see the American and California flags atop the grand staircase inside City Hall on Monday. The destruction to her workplace couldn't have come at a worse time as the city is grappling with closing a $28 million budget deficit.
"To do this to us in a week were we have to lay off so many city workers is so unconscionable," Schaaf said.
Protester Julion Lewis-Tatman said he led the crowd in the plaza outside City Hall, but did not take part in the flag-burning.
"I love this country to death, but burning the flag means nothing to me," he said. "We're burning down the old system and we're starting a new country."
Beth Duff-Brown reported from San Francisco. Deepti Hajela contributed to this story from New York.

Penn State bids a good man, goodbye!

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A simple two-word message flashed this week on the electronic signboard outside Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center.
“Thanks JoePa.”

On Thursday, a capacity crowd of more than 12,000 is expected to pack the arena for one more tribute to Joe Paterno, the Hall of Fame football coach who died Sunday from lung cancer.

His death at age 85 came less than three months after his stunning ouster as head coach in the wake of child sex-abuse charges against a retired assistant. But this week, thousands of alumni, fans, students and former players in Happy Valley are remembering Paterno for his record-setting career, his love for the school and his generosity.

Small clusters of mourners continued to visit Paterno’s statue outside the school’s football stadium hours before the memorial.

Sharon Winter, a 1963 graduate and long-time season ticket holder from Wernersville, dabbed tears from her eyes as she looked at the hundreds of items that well-wishers since Paterno’s death.

“If you haven’t lived it, you can’t explain it,” said Winter, who, with her husband Carl, keeps an apartment in State College. “We never knew the place without Joe. He’s always been a part of our lives and who we are.”
Many Penn Staters found themselves reflecting on Paterno’s impact and the road ahead.
“What’s Joe’s legacy? The answer, is his legacy is us,” former NFL and Nittany Lions receiver Jimmy Cefalo said Wednesday before Paterno’s funeral. Cefalo is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the tribute called “A Memorial for Joe” at the arena across the street from Beaver Stadium — the place Paterno helped turned into a college football landmark.
Paterno’s son, former Nittany Lions quarterback coach Jay Paterno, also is expected to speak at the memorial, which will cap three days of public mourning for Paterno. Viewings were held Tuesday and Wednesday morning, before the funeral and burial service for Paterno on Wednesday afternoon at the campus interfaith center where family members attended church services.
Cefalo, who played for Penn State in the ‘70s, said it will be the most difficult speech of his life. But he offered a hint of what he might say.
“Generations of these young people from coal mines and steel towns who he gave a foundation to,” Cefalo said. “It’s not (the Division I record) 409 wins, it’s not two national championships, and it’s not five-time coach of the year (awards). It’s us.”
The memorial Thursday is expected to feature a speaker for each decade of Paterno’s coaching career, according to Charles V. Pittman, a former player who said he will represent the 1960s.
Pittman said he was in Paterno’s first class and was the coach’s first All-America running back. Pittman’s son later played for the Nittany Lions as well, making them the first father-son pair to play for Paterno, Pittman said. They wrote a book about their experiences called “Playing for Paterno.”
Pittman said he spoke with Paterno two or three times a year. In 2002, the coach chided Pittman for moving to South Bend, Ind. — home of rival Notre Dame — to take a job as a newspaper executive.
“He called me a traitor,” said Pittman, senior vice president for publishing at Schurz Communications Inc., an Indiana-based company that owns television and radio stations and newspapers, and a member of the Board of Directors of The Associated Press.
Pittman attended Wednesday’s funeral, which also drew other notable guests including former NFL players Franco Harris and Matt Millen; and former defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. Nike founder Phil Knight and actor William Baldwin were there, too.

A procession wound through the Penn State campus and the surrounding State College community. Quiet mourners lined the route, watching with grief and reverence as the electric-blue hearse carrying Paterno’s casket slowly drove by.

Some took pictures with their cellphones, or waved to his widow. Others craned their necks hoping for a better glimpse through the crowd sometimes four or more deep.

A family spokesman, Dan McGinn, said Paterno’s grandchildren escorted the casket down the aisle during the opening procession, and again at the end of the service. Jay Paterno and his brother, Scott, were among the pallbearers.
photo by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2011

Written by State College resident Nanette Zerbe       

"Joepa's Final Gift"
"Of all the accomplishments and victories Joe achieved, his best and final lesson was that in the midst of blame, shame and misunderstanding, he forgave and gave. That is how a good man dies with dignity and at peace."

College Football legend Joe Paterno died today at 85

Labels: WRLTHD Sports News

photo's by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2012

Joe Paterno Jr., whose glittering career as Penn State's football coach was tainted by a child sex-abuse scandal, died today. He was 85.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled," Paterno's family said in a statement.

Paterno coached the Nittany Lions for 46 years and in 2011 became the winningest coach in Division 1 football. But before the season was over, he was abruptly dismissed as the sex scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky suggested that top school officials had ignored signs of Sandusky's alleged predatory behavior.

Shortly after his dismissal, Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer and broke his hip. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments weakened him, robbing him of his hair and his once-booming voice.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, he appeared frail, wearing a wig and speaking in a whisper. He canceled public appearances after the interview because of his failing health, according to family members.

For Paterno's legion of fans, who referred to the coach affectionately as "JoePa," the turbulent final months of Paterno's life were a tragic end to an outstanding coaching career that was built around his motto of "success with honor."

Saturday night, Paterno's wife, Suzanne Paterno, summoned close friends and longtime staff members Saturday afternoon to the State College hospital where Paterno has been undergoing treatments since last weekend, a source told the Citizen's Voice newspaper of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Paterno wanted to see them and say a final goodbye, the coach's wife told one of the staff members, the source said.

Hundreds of students gathered around the bronze statue of Paterno on the Penn State campus Saturday night, praying for Paterno's recovery, lighting candles and placing blue and white baseball hats at the foot of the statue.

Paterno's personal life included service in the Army, an English degree from Brown University, a marriage that lasted more than half a century, and a football team's worth of children and grandchildren.
"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community," Paterno's family said in a statement.

While at Penn State's helm, Paterno, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., led the Nittany Lions to seven undefeated seasons and two NCAA championships, had only five losing seasons, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007, and was nominated for a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nomination was revoked, however, after the scandal broke.

Paterno was known for his "Grand Experiment" at the university, stressing academic success as well as athletic achievement for his players.

"Just winning is a silly reason to be serious about a game," Paterno wrote in his 1997 book, "Paterno: By the Book." "The purpose of college football is to serve education."

During his tenure, the reputation of Penn State grew from that of a small land-grant university to a nationally ranked research university. The football program ballooned in prestige, with the school's Beaver Stadium expanding six times during his tenure.

Paterno's football program consistently ranked among the top in the NCAA for graduation rates, as well as the top grade point averages for student athletes in Division 1 sports. The achievements helped illustrate Paterno's philosophy on collegiate sports and on life, as he said in a 1973 commencement speech to Penn State graduates, that "Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger but it won't taste good."

And despite offers from other universities and NFL football teams, including an ownership stake in the New England Patriots, Paterno remained at Penn State, where his base pay was only a fraction of that of other top football coaches in the country. His base pay in 2011 was a little less than $600,000. He and his wife, Sue, donated more than $4 million to the university, which named a library and a campus spirituality center for them.

Paterno was also involved in politics, supporting conservative candidates in Pennsylvania and befriending presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald R. Ford, who tried but failed to convince the coach to run for office.

Paterno spoke at the 1988 Republican convention in support of Bush.
Bush's son, President George W. Bush, visited Penn State's campus in 2005, noting his respect for Paterno.

"I tell you one thing about Joe Paterno, there's no more decent fellow on the face of the Earth," Bush said. "What a man, who sets high standards, he loves his family, he loves this university, he loves his country, and my mother and dad love him."

Joe Paterno Leaves Football Legacy

Although he was the most well-known person on Penn State's campus in State College, Paterno was also seen as a picture of humility. Students at Penn State knew that Coach Paterno lived nearby in a modest ranch home he bought for $9,000, and walked from his house to each home football game. He and his wife remained listed in the public phone book, and his children went to the town's public school.

At his direction, the team wore simple uniforms, donning blue jerseys without names and simple white helmets without logos, and plain high-top black shoes. The austere style reflected that of the coach, who wore to nearly every game the same thick-framed black glasses, rolled-up pant legs and white athletic socks.

But Paterno's reputation was called into question in November 2011 when allegations of child sex-abuse surfaced against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. A grand jury presentment detailed an incident that took place in 2002 in the Penn State football complex, in which an assistant coach allegedly saw Sandusky in a shower, naked, with a young boy, in a position that seemed sexual.
The assistant, Mike McQueary, testified to a Pennsylvania grand jury that he reported what he saw to Paterno, who in turn told his superiors. No one called the police.

Paterno was accused of doing too little to ensure the safety of children on campus, although he was not legally bound to call the police.

Penn State Mourns Joe Paterno's Death

In his last interview before his death, Paterno told the Washington Post that he wished he had done more when faced with the allegations against Sandusky.

"I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was," he said. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way."

Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees during the week after the scandal broke, three games before the end of the 2011 season and six weeks before his head coaching contract expired. The board said Paterno's ability to lead had been "compromised."

In the wake of the scandal, Pennsylvania's senators withdrew their support for his nomination for a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Paterno's name was removed from the Big Ten Conference championship trophy.

During his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Paterno expressed joy at a career spent coaching football.

"How good has it been? What we share in football; there's never been a greater game. We've been involved in the greatest game, the greatest experience anybody could hope for. Great teammates. Guys you could trust. Guys you loved. Guys you would go to war with tomorrow. We're so lucky. We're so lucky," he said.

Paterno is survived by his wife, Suzanne Paterno, their children, Diana, Joseph Jr. "Jay", Mary Kay, David and Scott, all of whom are Penn State graduates, and 17 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON (The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon).

Season Won Lost Tied Bowl

1966 5 5 0
1967 8 2 1 Gator: Tied Florida State, 17-17
1968 11 0 0 Orange: Beat Kansas, 15-14
1969 11 0 0 Orange: Beat Missouri, 10-3
1970 7 3 0
1971 11 1 0 Cotton: Beat Texas, 30-6
1972 10 2 0 Sugar: Lost to Oklahoma, 14-0
1973 12 0 0 Orange: Beat LSU, 16-9
1974 10 2 0 Cotton: Beat Baylor, 41-20
1975 9 3 0 Sugar: Lost to Alabama, 13-6
1976 7 5 0 Gator: Lost to Notre Dame, 20-9
1977 11 1 0 Fiesta: Beat Arizona State, 42-30
1978 11 1 0 Sugar: Lost to Alabama, 14-7
1979 8 4 0 Liberty: Beat Tulane, 9-6
1980 10 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Ohio State, 31-19
1981 10 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Southern Cal, 26-10
1982 11 1 0 Sugar: Beat Georgia, 27-23
1983 8 4 1 Aloha: Beat Washington, 13-10
1984 6 5 0
1985 11 1 0 Orange: Lost to Oklahoma, 25-10
1986 12 0 0 Fiesta: Beat Miami (Fla.), 14-10
1987 8 4 0 Citrus: Lost to Clemson, 35-10
1988 5 6 0
1989 8 3 1 Holiday: Beat Brigham Young, 50-39
1990 9 3 0 Blockbuster: Lost to Florida State, 24-17
1991 11 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Tennessee, 42-17
1992 7 5 0 Blockbuster: Lost to Stanford, 24-3
1993 10 2 0 Citrus: Beat Tennessee, 31-13
1994 12 0 0 Rose: Beat Oregon, 38-20
1995 9 3 0 Outback: Beat Auburn, 43-14
1996 11 2 0 Fiesta: Beat Texas, 38-15
1997 9 3 0 Citrus: Lost to Florida, 21-6
1998 9 3 0 Outback: Beat Kentucky, 26-14
1999 10 3 0 Alamo: Beat Texas A&M, 24-0
2000 5 7 0
2001 5 6 0
2002 9 4 0 Capital One: Lost to Auburn, 13-9
2003 3 9 0
2004 4 7 0
2005 11 1 0 Orange: Beat Florida State, 26-23 (3 OT)
2006 9 4 0 Outback: Beat Tennessee, 20-10
2007 9 4 0 Alamo: Beat Texas A&M, 24-17
2008 11 2 0 Rose: Lost to Southern California, 38-24
2009 11 2 0 Capital One: Beat LSU, 19-17
2010 7 6 0 Outback: Lost to Florida. 37-24
Totals 401 135 3 Bowls: Won 24, Lost 11, Tied

Larry Butler, Grammy-winning producer, dies at 69

Larry Butler, the only person in Nashville history to win an all-Genre producer of the year Grammy, died of natural causes Friday morning at his home in Pensacola, Fla. He was 69.
Mr. Butler produced works by numerous stars, including Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, John Denver, Bill Anderson, Dottie West and Waylon Jennings, but his biggest impact was on the career of Kenny Rogers. Mr. Butler helmed Rogers’ shift from rock music to country, and he produced major hits including “The Gambler,” “Lucille” and “Coward of the County,” taking care to place Rogers’ vocals front and center in the mix, and accentuating acoustic guitar parts and percussion.
“The success he and Kenny had together is mind-boggling,” said Kim Carnes, who co-wrote Rogers’ Gideon album, produced by Mr. Butler. That album featured “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” a Rogers/Carnes duet that became a top five country and adult contemporary hit. “Larry and Kenny were really intertwined. Larry worked with artists who had their own individual style, and he would figure out what made them unique and then get the best out of them.”
A native of Pensacola, Mr. Butler was also a celebrated songwriter, who with Chips Moman wrote the B.J. Thomas hit, “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” He also wrote “Only The Strong Survive” (Tammy Wynette) and “Standing Tall” (Billy Joe Spears, Lorrie Morgan).
Born and raised in Pensacola, Mr. Butler began playing music as a child, and as a teenager he hosted a radio show and co-hosted a television show. He moved to Nashville in 1963 with the encouragement of producer/publisher Buddy Killen. Mr. Butler was soon playing piano on recordings by Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. In the late 1960s, he moved to Memphis, recording as the Gentry’s with Moman and notching charting pop hits “Keep On Dancin’” and “Every Day I Have To Cry Some.” He returned to Nashville in 1969, working as an in-house producer at Capitol Records, though before long he moved to CBS Records, to work with Cash and others.
In 1973, Mr. Butler became the head of United Artists Records’ Nashville division, where he signed artists including Rogers and Crystal Gayle. He was instrumental in getting Rogers to record “Lucille,” and his crisp production of “The Gambler” expertly framed Rogers’ voice and Don Schlitz’s story-song, aiding Rogers’ rise to superstardom and helping “The Gambler” to a place among the 20th century’s best-known songs. The success of “The Gambler” and other Rogers’ hits led to Mr. Butler’s producer of the year Grammy, which he received in 1980.
“With Larry, everything that happened in the studio had to be tested out,” said country hit-maker Billy Dean, who said Mr. Butler was his first producer in Nashville. “And he was testing it out not in a technical way, but in an emotional way. If it won out emotionally, it stayed. He always led with his heart.”
In the early 1980s, he started independent company Larry Butler Productions, where he worked with Denver (“Some Days Are Diamonds”), Mac Davis (“It’s Hard To Be Humble”), Debbie Boone (“Are You On The Road To Loving Me Again”) and many more.
Mr. Butler helmed a publishing company and signed writers including Mickey Newbury and Dean Dillon and whose company’s songs were recorded by George Strait, Keith Whitley, Vern Gosdin and others (including, of course, Rogers).
In recent years, Mr. Butler was back in his native Pensacola, writing songs and mentoring young talent.
Memorial service and survivor information are as yet unavailable.
Reach Peter Cooper at (615) 259-8220 or pcooper@tennessean.com.

Joe Paterno in serious condition!

Photo credit: Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2011

By The Associated Press
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno is in serious condition after experiencing health complications from lung cancer.

"Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications," family spokesman Dan McGinn said in a brief statement Saturday to The Associated Press. "His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.

"His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time," he said.

The 85-year-old Paterno has been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation for what his family had called minor complications from cancer treatments.

Paterno was diagnosed with cancer in November, days after getting ousted as head coach in the aftermath of the child sex abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky.

This was Paterno's second time in the hospital in a month. He's also recovering from a broken pelvis that required a weeklong stay to make it easier for cancer treatments. Paterno first hurt his pelvis in August when he was accidentally bowled over by a player in preseason practice.

The injury forced the Hall of Famer to spend most of the season coaching from the press box -- until trustees dismissed him Nov. 9, four days after Sandusky was first charged.

Sandusky is out on bail and awaiting trial after denying the allegations. Paterno testified before a state grand jury investigating Sandusky, and authorities have said he is not a target of the probe.

But school trustees voted unanimously to oust him anyway -- even though Paterno had announced that morning he would retire by the end of the season -- in part because Paterno failed a moral responsibility to report an allegation made in 2002 against Sandusky to authorities outside the university.

Paterno testified he had relayed the allegation told to him by graduate assistant Mike McQueary to a superior, and the information was then passed on to another school administrator who oversaw the campus police department.

Paterno's lawyer, Wick Sollers, on Thursday called the board's comments self-serving and unsupported by the facts. Paterno fully reported what he knew to the people responsible for campus investigations, Sollers said.

"He did what he thought was right with the information he had at the time," Sollers said.

Emmylou Harris to Celebrate 20th Anniversary as Grand Ole Opry Member

Labels: WRLTHD Music News
Photo by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012

Nashville, TN
The Grand Ole Opry® presented by Humana® will honor one of country music’s most renowned artists, Emmylou Harris, on her 20th anniversary as an Opry member on Sat., Jan. 21, 2012 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  The Country Music Hall of Fame member was inducted into the Opry on Jan. 25, 1992.  Her 20-year milestone will be celebrated with performances by the honoree, fellow 20-year Opry veteran Vince Gill; Rodney Crowell, with whom Harris is currently working on a duets album; Grammy®-winner Shawn Colvin, making her Opry debut that evening; and more.

“Emmylou is treasured not just by all of us at the Grand Ole Opry, but also by fans around the world,” said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. She’s shared so many great musical moments with us over the past 20 years, singing with and introducing us to some of her favorite musical collaborators. We’re excited to celebrate her Opry anniversary at the Ryman, a stage on which she’s displayed such incredible artistry through the years.”

During her career, Harris has successfully erased boundaries between country, folk and rock ‘n roll.  During the 60s she fell in love with folk music and began performing while in college.  In the late 60s Harris met Gram Parsons, formerly of The Byrds, and he became her mentor and singing partner, drawing her into the 70s country rock movement.  She toured and recorded with Parsons until his death in 1973.  Since then, Harris has continued to develop her musical style by combining folk music with an electric base and has a sound that is uniquely her own.  She has enjoyed seven No. 1 and 27 Top 10 hits. Among her most memorable releases: “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” “Together Again,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Making Believe,” “To Daddy,” and “Heartbreak Hill.”  In 1999 Billboard Magazine recognized her distinguished career achieveme nts with its highest honor – the Century Award.  Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and has won 12 Grammy® awards.

Kenny Loggins: 'I'm alright' being frugal

Photo's by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012

Kenny Loggins spent the 1980s as the go-to guy for memorable movie songs, fueled largely, he says, by luck. The producers of "Top Gun," which came out in a special 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition in late August, only asked Loggins to sing the film's signature song, "Danger Zone," when Bryan Adams and Toto fell through. And he only wrote and recorded "Footloose" as a favor to that film's screenwriter because, he says, "'Footloose' is not 'Gone with the Wind.'" Nowadays, Loggins tours solo and also plays with his new band, Blue Sky Riders, which will release their music without a record company because, he says, "(the record companies) just want all the money."

What did you do for a living in your early days?
My first job was as a box boy in a grocery store. Then I went from the first year of college to being on the road with (psychedelic '60s band) The Electric Prunes. I came back, lived with the bass player and drummer, did session work and got a job as a songwriter for $100 a week. That allowed me to rent half a duplex in East L.A. for $65 a month. The rest of the $100 would run out, so I would collect pop bottles to get refried beans and tortillas.

I had a VW bus that was about 10 years old. I was talking to a buddy about buying a new car, and he said his buddy was a race car driver. So, I called up his buddy and said, "If you could have any street car, what would you have?" He said he'd have a BMW 3.0-liter Coupe. So here I am, living in East L.A. with a dirt driveway for $65 a month with a 3.0-liter Coupe parked in the driveway. That was the beginning of the end for me, fiscally.

Probably in the middle right now. Or upper middle. I'm not as wealthy as people think I should be. Over the years, a couple of bad investments and rough divorces, and I'm still on the road doing what I do. I've got a couple of colleges yet to pay for -- I've got a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old -- and I'm still building a retirement fund. 

Would you say you're a frugal person now?

I'm a lot more frugal now. I would love to buy another BMW someday, but right now I'm a single dad with a minivan.

What do you mean?

I had a business manager once say to me, "It's easy to move up. It's really hard to move back down." Two divorces later, I can attest to that.
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Captain of the Costa Concordia detained on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning his ship

Labels: WRLTHD Breaking News

Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, was held last night along with his first mate over allegations of manslaughter and abandoning his ship.

The captain of a cruise liner that ran aground with 4,000 passengers on board has been detained along with his first mate on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning his ship.

Francesco Schettino was at least four miles off course when the Costa Concordia struck rocks off the island of Giglio, Tuscany, despite Italy's well-mapped sea lanes.

One passenger has accused the captain of drinking in one of the ship's bars on the night the vessel ran aground, before taking control after the crash.

Monique Maurek, 41, from the Netherlands, told The Sunday Telegraph: 'What scandalised me most was when I saw the captain spending much of the evening before we hit the rocks drinking in the bar with a beautiful woman on his arm.

'Most people didn't even have any idea of what the evacuation warning sound would be.
'It was only because some of us had already been on a cruise that we recognised that seven blasts of the horn was a signal to abandon ship.'

Phil Metcalf, whose daughter Rose was one of the last people off the ship, said she had revealed the captain allegedly abandoned ship in the early stages of the evacuation, leaving his staff onboard.

He told BBC Breakfast: 'Since the captain had left there was nobody, so everybody was left to their own devices hence some of the chaos, so obviously the crew took it upon themselves and decided in the absence of the captain to organise and try and help people.'

Schettino told maritime investigators that charts showed he was in water deep enough to navigate and that he had struck an unidentified rocky outcrop of the island.

Once the 52-year-old realised the extent of the damage he immediately tried to change route and head for the safety of Giglio harbour.

But within minutes the vessel, owned by Costa Cruises, began to list dramatically reaching an angle of 20 degrees in just two hours.

Off course: Investigators said the cruise ship was four miles from the normal shipping lanes when it struck a rocky outcrop off Giglio, Tuscany.

The captain and his first office Ciro Ambrosio were detained last night at the police station in Porto Santo Stefano.

Prosecutors are investigating possible charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning the ship while passengers were still in danger.

Schettino was quoted by Italian news sources as saying: 'The area was safe, the water was deep enough. We struck a stretch of rock that was not marked on the charts.

'As far as I am concerned we were in perfectly navigable waters.'

Francesco Verusio, chief prosecutor in the Tuscan city of Grosseto, told ANSA news agency the captain 'very ineptly got close to Giglio'.

'The ship struck a reef that got stuck inside the left side, making it (the ship) lean over and take on a lot of water in the space of two, three minutes,' he said.

Sources have said the captain, from Naples, had abandoned the ship at around 11.30pm local time - an hour after it struck a rocky outcrop and started taking on water - while the last passengers were not taken to safety until 3am yesterday morning.

Schettino's lawyer, Bruno Leporatti, said: 'I'd like to say that several hundred people owed their life to the expertise that the commander of the Costa Concordia showed during the emergency.'

He was taken to Grosseto's jail, where he will be held until next week when a judge will decide whether he should be released or formally put under arrest.

In Italy, suspects can be held without charge for a few days for investigation. A judge must either validate the jailing, putting the suspect under arrest, or declare him free to go.

Investigation: Sources have claimed the captain abandoned his ship hours before the last passengers were recovered from the vessel.

Experts have said the captain may have been correct in his belief that his ship met its fate because of a power failure.

Passengers rescued from the stricken liner reported there had been a power blackout and a large booming noise, which indicated the vessel may have suffered an engine room explosion.

Last night Malcolm Latarche, editor of the global shipping magazine IHS Fairplay Solutions, said the problem may have been caused by a phenomenon known as 'harmonic interference'.

Mr Latarche said it was possible the cruise liner experienced the same problem that saw the Queen Mary 2 lose power in September 2010 as she was approaching Barcelona. On that occasion, the QM2 was able to carry on into open sea.

The expert said the harmonic interference – a type of power surge – could have caused a malfunction in the generators feeding the ship's six diesel electric engines with which the back-up systems could not cope.

This would have caused the ship to lose navigational power and steering control and veer off course, he said.

Asked for his assessment of the incident, Mr Latarche said: 'I would say power failure caused by harmonic interference and then it can't propel straight or navigate and it hit rocks.'

He added that once a ship experienced problems with the electrical supply to its main propulsion motors, it could lead to a problem with steering.

Mr Latarche said: 'It seems that this may have happened quite close to land, in shallow water. When you can't steer you are going to run aground and hit rocks at some point.'

The Costa Concordia, built in 2005, was designed to standards comparable with ocean liners.
Even though it had a rounded hull compared to the stronger V-shaped hull fitted to the Cunard flagship QM2, experts say it was capable of crossing the rough seas of the Atlantic.

Mr Latarche added: 'Although the damage caused to the ship was severe, there are many safeguards in the design of a state-of-the-art cruise ship to prevent it turning over.

'There is a second hull within the outer hull. Inside the inner hull there is a steel structure like an ice tray to contain the water and prevent it spreading through the ship.

'In this case, the Master rightly attempted to return it to the shore, but it seems to have keeled over because it hit shallow water on the coast.

'An ocean cruise ship is not designed to float in 20ft of water. It needs much more than that to remain upright.'

Disaster: Experts have said the cruise liner may have suffered power failure - caused by a power surge - causing it to veer off course.

According to Mr Latarche, the fact that the average tonnage of cruise ships has doubled in the past decade makes a full-scale evacuation while at sea almost impossible.

Under regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organisation in 2010, the very latest ships are now designed to be able to return to port even in the event of a major fire or loss of power on board, in order to make evacuation unnecessary.
The Concordia was commissioned five years prior to the new rules but Mr Latarche said: 'Even if the most sophisticated ship in the world went into shallow water, the likelihood is it would turn on its side.
'This was a unique situation in which a number of circumstances all came together.'
Last night, Italian investigators trying to establish the cause of the accident arrested the Captain, Francesco Schettino, and were considering bringing manslaughter charges.
The investigators will study repair log books and fault reports for the vessel dating back several years.
They will also examine the experience of the officers and crew and examine the roles played by everyone on the day that the liner came to grief.
Since the Eighties the cruise industry has experienced a boom. More than 19 million passengers took a cruise last year and nine or more cruise ships of 100,000 tons or more have been built every year for the past decade.

Although cruise ships appear to be top-heavy, most of their weight is at the bottom, while the structure towards the top is designed to be comparatively light.

Traditionally, the vast majority of cruises have been taken by Americans to the Caribbean islands, but the Mediterranean market is rapidly expanding, with Italy the prime destination.

Cruise liners are designed for pleasure voyages, in which the surroundings and the luxurious amenities are the major focus of the experience, rather than the transportation itself.

As an industry, cruising has a safety record generally regarded as excellent. Over the past two decades, an estimated 90 million passengers have enjoyed a cruise without major incident.

The overwhelming majority of deaths on cruise ships are from natural causes or suicides.

Passenger ships – defined as any ship carrying more than 12 passengers – must comply with International Maritime Organisation regulations, which cover every aspect of the construction and operation.

Eddie Van Halen donates 75 electric guitars!

STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 09: Musician Eddie Van Halen donates 75 electric guitars from his personal collection to Felice Mancini, Executive Director The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports music education in public schools across the country, on January 9, 2012 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

University Of Mary's Gary Tharaldson School of Business announces new program

The University of Mary’s Gary Tharaldson School of Business has registered with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to provide a new financial planning undergraduate degree program.

The University of Mary’s Financial Services and Banking program in the Gary Tharaldson School of Business is one of only two in North Dakota and one of only a handful in the five-state region (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota and Wyoming) to be CFP registered.

Those interested in the program should send inquires to Shanda Traiser at (701) 355-8160 straiser@umary.edu 

Feng Jiao, University of Mary assistant professor in the GTSB, at (701) 355-8351/ fjiao@umary.edu.

Disney: Ricky Strauss named Marketing Chief

Strauss will replace MT Carney, the controversial executive who joined Disney in April 2010 with no prior experience in the film industry and announced her resignation earlier this week. With the choice, Disney chief Rich Ross is selecting a seasoned executive who has worked on The Help, the DreamWorks and Participant-produced drama that Disney distributed in 2011 with much success.

“I am happy to welcome Ricky Strauss to The Walt Disney Studios family," Ross said in a statement. "With 25 years of industry experience, he brings a deep understanding of all aspects of the film business as well as incredible skill in branding and cutting-edge marketing. He will undoubtedly raise the studios’ creative bar as we enter 2012 and look ahead at showcasing a spectacular slate of films to audiences around the world.”

The selection of Strauss ends one of the most active guessing games in town. Industry insiders ran virtually every conceivable name up the flagpole only to have it shot down again. As recently as yesterday, rumors flooded Disney that former New Regency executive Bob Harper was joining the studio.

Disney had been openly looking for a replacement for Carney for months. Some have speculated that she finally departed simply because she was tired of the open search for a replacement. But others believed that War Horse's disappointing performance upset director Steven Spielberg and that the timing of her departure was related to his displeasure. The hiring of Strauss, who was involved in marketing DreamWorks’s one stand-out hit, The Help, and is close with DreamWorks' Stacey Snider, gives some weight to the latter theory (Snyder and Strauss worked together at TriStar).

Some executives currently or formerly associated with Disney have yearned for an experienced hand to guide the marketing department after watching with dismay as Ross, himself inexperienced in movies, terminated many seasoned staffers.

"MT could perhaps have worked out if Rich hadn't fired everyone else," says one. "Other outsiders have been welcomed and flourished." Alluding to an anecdote about Carney in a New York Times article that chronicled her downfall, this observer says, "MT didn’t fail because she wore white pants and wasn’t welcomed into the club. Rich took off the entire top level of management there and then put in a novice and let her flail." (Among those who departed Disney were distribution veterans Mark Zoradi and Chuck Viane, who retired; distribution exec Bob Chapek was promoted to consumer products.)

Disney faces big challenges in the coming months. The studio will release the pricey sci-fi action adventure John Carter in March, and this summer brings The Avengers, the first Marvel Studios picture to be marketed and released by Disney since the company purchased Marvel.

Some insiders have expressed surprise that Strauss would take the job given the situation of the studio. "I don't get it. I have no skin in it but what's in it for him? I would be too scared to do it," says one industry observer.

Bern Gropp's latest product! The Easy Portable Kitchen

Bern Gropp's latest product: The Easy Portable Kitchen

Easy Portable Kitchen (EPK) is a portable, sanitary prep station.  Made of quality materials from top to bottom.   
The fiberglass basin is covered with a durable gelcoat finish and features an inset of marine grade starboard cutting surface. The EPK is supported by sturdy, aluminum, collapsable and adjustable legs to compensate for the physical needs of each user. Two large portholes fitted with bio-degradable plastic bags allow the user to easily dispose of waste. The EPK fitted with gravity feed plastic bags filled with water making food prep and final cleanup a breeze. Field tests with tailgaters, outdoorsmen and back yard party hosts has shown an overwhelming appreciation for this product who's time has come!

Penn State's new coach?


Penn State University has chosen New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to be its next head football coach and the man who will try to rebuild a program that was rocked last fall by a scandal that cost legendary coach Joe Paterno the job, ESPN reports. The sports network says an announcement is expected to be made Saturday.
"Penn State coaches contacted by The Associated Press said they had not received any word late Thursday night about O'Brien or anything else related to the two-month long search to replace Hall of Famer Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions' leader for 46 seasons was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
"O'Brien has no apparent ties to Penn State."
Bill O'Brien, offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
"Penn State players and former players reacted Thursday night to the report of O'Brien joining the PSU program on Twitter.
" 'Well, alright then,' tweeted former PSU quarterback Daryll Clark. 'If this is true, then welcome, Bill O'Brien. Let's get to work.'
" 'Welcome Coach O'Brien!' tweeted PSU tailback Silas Redd.
" 'As long as he brings the same type of offense ... welcome, Bill,' joked PSU tight end Garry Gilliam, a Milton Hershey graduate, on Twitter."
Officially, Penn State spokesmen are telling news outlets that they have no comment.
Sandusksy, a former Penn State assistant football coach, faces 50 charges related to alleged sexual abuse of 10 young boys over the course of more than a decade. Some of the incidents allegedly happened on campus. He says he's innocent. Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier lost their jobs because a grand jury reported there was evidence that they had been told about Sandusky's alleged crimes but did not alert police.