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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Watergate

40 years ago today "The Plumbers", a secrete presidential tactical team, broke into Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC. After the famous words "I am not a crook", President Richard Nixon was found to have run a White House that reporters Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington post, called an organized criminal administration. Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment, saying "You won't have Nixon to kick around any longer."

Rodney King dead at 47

Rodney King, whose beating at the hands of Los Angeles police officers sparked the largest riot in Los Angeles history, has been found dead at his home in Rialto, according to his publicist and media reports. He was found in his swimming pool. Foul play does not appear to apply. He was 47.

More soon at latimes.com.

States Stake Claim On Sir Francis Drake's Landing

Audio for this story from Weekend Edition Sunday
 
Sir Francis Drake, seen here in a painting by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, became the first British explorer to make contact with Native Americans.
  Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger/Public Domain 
  Sir Francis Drake, seen here in a painting by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, became the first British explorer to make contact with Native Americans.

Oregon and California are locked in a dispute over something that happened 433 years ago, when Sir Francis Drake became the first British explorer to make contact with Native Americans.

It happened on what is now the American West Coast. The question is where: Oregon or California? The National Park Service is now poised to officially recognize one state's claim.

Drake was the prototypical swashbuckling British ship captain. It took him three years to circumnavigate the world. In 1579, Drake spent five weeks repairing his ship and interacting with West Coast tribes. Amateur historian Garry Gitzen believes that happened near his house overlooking Nehalem Bay on the northern Oregon coast.

The shelves of Gitzen's basement library are lined not only with books about Sir Francis Drake, but also with what he says is evidence the British explorer dropped anchor near his home.

Gitzen points to a photo of an old survey marker chiseled into a rock.

"This is what he signed," Gitzen says. "You know, the only person who could do something like that was Francis Drake."

Gitzen is writing a book called Oregon's Stolen History. In it, he refutes the generally accepted claim that Drake landed in California, just north of what is now San Francisco. He says it matters because it's the truth.
"Otherwise, we're living a bunch of lies," he says. "Is that really what we want to do? I don't think so. If that's the case, why don't we just keep saying the sun is revolving around the Earth and the Earth is still flat?"

Drake's Bay
Ed Von der Porten heads a society of history buffs in California's Bay Area. As far as he's concerned, scholars settled the question long ago of where Drake first encountered West Coast tribes — in California's Drake's Bay. Most recently, he says the National Park Service put that claim through not one, but two scholarly commissions to see if there were any other alternative.

"The answer came back, as it always has, a resounding no," Von der Porten says.

There is still another possibility, however, for Drake's landing: Whale Cove in southern Oregon. That's where archaeologist Melissa Darby is studying. Darby says that as a scientist, she doesn't trust anyone who's 100 percent sure of something that happened more than four centuries ago.

"We don't know where he landed," Darby says. "Just the evidence that there are so many arguments about it tells me that it's not a done deal."

The Hunt Continues
For now at least, the National Park Service has accepted the petition to officially designate 17 locations around California's Drake's Bay as a national landmark. But that's not quite the end of the story.

National Park Service archeologist Erika Martin Seibert says the point of this landmark is to recognize the first contact between the British and Native Americans.

"At this time current scholarship supports this area as the landing sight of Drake's Bay," Seibert says. "But that doesn't mean we can't continue to look at other places."

Seibert says the reason people will keep studying Drake's circumnavigation of the world is because it was the "moonshot" of its time.

"He was a rock star. He did something that many people thought was impossible," she says.

All that's needed now to turn Drake's Bay in California into a historic landmark is a signature from U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.


From KNPR's Weekend Edition Sunday (click here)

Campaign Ads Target Latinos As A Key Issue Looms

Audio for this story from Weekend Edition Sunday
 
Barack Obama got overwhelming support from Latino voters in 2008, helping him win the White House. Mitt Romney hopes to hold down that margin this year. So both campaigns are targeting Latino voters in TV ads.

President Obama and presumptive republican nominee are both scheduled to address Latino leaders later this week in Florida. And after the president's announcement Friday, putting a stop to some deportations, immigration reform will likely be front and center.

Of the two candidates, it's the Obama re-election team that has the most elaborate campaign aimed at reaching Latino voters. The most recent spots feature Obama volunteers speaking with Latino families, and talking about their own life experiences and concerns about health care, and education.

Take Daniella Urbina who is a field organizer for Obama in Denver. In a Spanish-language ad, she says: "I'm the first one to go to college in my family. I think President Obama understands us — he understands what it's like not to have what everyone else has."

The Obama campaign has reportedly spent nearly $2 million on the ads, which are airing in Florida, Nevada and Colorado. Obama won all three of those states in 2008, and all are expected to be closely contested this year.

The Obama Spanish-language spots are all highly positive and warm-feeling. By contrast, the Service Employees International Union and the pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA announced a $4 million campaign this past week that goes after Mitt Romney, using his own words.

"You can also tell my story. I am also unemployed," Romney jokes in the ads. A woman then says: "He's making fun of us. I was unemployed. Our children are suffering and he jokes about it?"

The SEIU/Priorities USA ads are running in the same states as the Obama ads. Gabriel Sanchez, who teaches political science at the University of New Mexico, says the pro-Obama ads aim to reignite the spark felt in the Latino community for Obama four years ago.

"That's certainly the intention ... to try to galvanize some enthusiasm among Latinos to get out and vote because all the numbers are suggesting enthusiasm is dropping and actually voter registration numbers among Latinos have dropped over time since the last election," Sanchez says.

The Romney campaign has so far been less focused on reaching Latino voters. It bought a small amount of TV time in North Carolina and Ohio. It's running an ad, called, "Dia Uno," or "Day One," projecting what the first day of a Romney presidency would look like.

In Spanish, the ad says: "How would Mitt Romney's presidency go? Day One: President Romney immediately approves the Keystone pipeline, therefore creating thousands of jobs that Obama blocked."

That ad is a straightforward translation of an ad the Romney campaign has run in English, and misses the mark at least culturally, says Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a visiting scholar at the University of Texas.
"You know the words are being said, but the faces that you're seeing and the actions and even little details like dress, for example. Latinos are a much more warm in terms of when you greet each other you tend to hug each other. You tend to not see that in English-language ads — something small like that," DeFrancesco Soto says.

The Romney campaign believes that its overall focus on the economy appeals to Hispanic voters.
While the economy, health care and education have all been the focus of ads, one issue that neither campaign has addressed so far is immigration. And with good reason, says DeFrancesco Soto.

"They're staying away from it for different reasons — the president, because he wasn't able to fulfill his promise of comprehensive immigration reform and Romney, to distance himself from the harsh lines he took on immigration during the debates," she says.

That may now change. The announcement Friday that the Obama administration will no longer seek to deport young people brought to the U.S. as children could spur a new round of ads aimed at Spanish-speaking voters.

Video and audio at NPR (click here).

Happy Fathers


Frontlines Of Fatherhood: Catching Up After War

Audio for this story from Weekend Edition Sunday
 
Spc. Bryan Tolley and his 18-month-old son, Ryan. While deployed, Tolley would see children that would remind him of Ryan and immediately call home.
  Tom Dreisbach/NPR Spc. Bryan Tolley and his 18-month-old son, Ryan. While deployed, Tolley would see children that would remind him of Ryan and immediately call home.

Last year, members of the 182nd National Guard regiment marked Father's Day far away from their loved ones. This year, they're home with their kids after a year in Afghanistan.

Spc. Bryan Tolley, 29, knows the challenges of being both a soldier and a dad. His son, Ryan, is a shy, blonde 18-month-old who happily clings to his dad.

"Seeing his face light up when he sees Dada come through his bedroom door instead of Mama because he's so used to his mother — it's awesome. I love it," Tolley says.

Tolley's from Plymouth, Mass., and at a Guard event in the state, he meets up with his friends from deployment. They take turns playing with Ryan.

"I wouldn't trade being a father for the world. It's one of the coolest feelings in the world — it really is," Tolley says.

Ryan was just a newborn when Tolley was told he was shipping out to Afghanistan.

"It was tough at first. It's one thing to be prepared for a deployment. It's another to know that you're going to be leaving a baby behind," he says. "When we found out we were pregnant, it was the coolest feeling in the world. But that was quickly shadowed by the fact that I was leaving in a few months."

Like other soldiers who have to leave behind families, he missed a lot of "firsts."

"First steps, first time eating solid food by himself. He started talking while I was gone too," Tolley says.
It was his first deployment overseas. Tolley's unit was in Zabul Province, which is relatively stable. Tolley says the nights over there were still, most of the time.

"I've learned a whole new definition of quiet, the creepy quiet," he says.

Now, "quiet" has another new definition.

"It's the good kind of quiet, the quiet when he's sleeping," Tolley says.

Sgt. Michael Clark and his fiancee, Kaitlin Forant, hold their son, Michael Clark Jr. It took time for the 18-month-old to recognize his father after Clark's deployment.
Tom Dreisbach/NPR Sgt. Michael Clark and his fiancee, Kaitlin Forant, hold their son, Michael Clark Jr. It took time for the 18-month-old to recognize his father after Clark's deployment.
At the same Guard event, Sgt. Michael Clark holds his son, Michael Clark Jr., who tries to squirm free. The meet-up is a chance for Clark to reunite with the guys from his unit. He was deployed to Nangarhar Province near the Pakistani border. Now, Afghanistan seems a long ways away.

"You're gonna see a lot of love, a lot of handshakes, hugs," he says. "It's a big family, basically a big group of kids all in uniform. But we do love each other, and I'm glad everyone came back safe."

He's right. Most of these soldiers are really young. Many, if not most of them, have kids of their own.
War and fatherhood have forced them to grow up quickly. Sometimes, the stress of those responsibilities can be overwhelming. Clark says it was tough when he first came home to his family. They had changed, and he had missed it.

"Overnight, your lives have changed. Your family has gone on one more year," he says. "Your son has grown up one more year, and you kinda have to catch up."

That's what these soldiers are doing. Yes, there is a lot of stress. Many of them are now looking for regular civilian jobs. Some are dealing with injuries, even post-traumatic stress disorder. And a lot of them, like Tolley, are learning to be fathers for the first time

But unlike soldiering, this is a role that requires strength, endurance and sometimes complete surrender.
"The one thing I think is wicked cute is [Ryan] will actually blow kisses, and he'll make the noise to go along with it," Tolley says. "He's always laughing. He's always got a smile on his face."
So does his dad.

Audio produced for Weekend Edition by Tom Bullock.
From NPR's Weekend Edition Sundays

Proud of being Right Brain Creative!

“The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.”

~ Frank Barron

Dam Short Film Festival...2013 Submissions being accepted now!

Lee Lanier and Dam Short Film Festival shared a link.
 

www.damshortfilm.orgThe Dam Short Film Festival has received numerous accolades in newspapers, magazines, and on television.

The Festival is accepting submissions for the 2013 Festival, to be held in green, scenic, historic Boulder City, Nevada, only a half hour from the Las Vegas Stip, ten minutes from Henderson.

http://www.damshortfilm.org/2013-festival-dates

Unearthing of the Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare's early plays were performed.


The Stage On Which Juliet First Called Out For Romeo

Audio for this story from Weekend Edition Sunday will be available at approx. 12:00 p.m. ET
 
Archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology recently excavated the site of the 16th-century Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare staged some of his plays.
Enlarge Museum of London Archaeology/ASSOCIATED PRESS Archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology recently excavated the site of the 16th-century Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare staged some of his plays.
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June 17, 2012
Just in time for Shakespeare in the Park, archaeologists have discovered the remains of the Bard's old stomping grounds — ruins of a famous 16th-century theater, buried below the streets of modern London. Known in its heyday as the Curtain Theatre, it's often been eclipsed by its more famous younger sibling, the Globe.
But the Curtain is a big deal in its own right. Some of Shakespeare's most famous works premiered there — Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, just to name a couple. NPR's Rachel Martin talked to the archaeologist who dug up the theater, Chris Thomas of the Museum of London.

Interview Highlights

On what remains
"We've only seen parts of it so far, but what remains are the foundations — the brick walls of the Curtain Theatre — the floors inside the galleries, and the yard. The yard is the bit in the middle where people used to stand."
On how they knew it was the Curtain
"We've looked at the Rose Theatre — we've dug parts of that up before — and we've dug a little bit of the Globe up before. And we've dug a little bit of Shakespeare's first theater, which was rather unimaginatively titled the Theatre. So we know what sort of form these things have, and we know what shape they have. ... What we've got here [with the Curtain] is the best surviving example of any of Shakespeare's theaters in London. The others are all quite badly disturbed by later buildings, but this one seems to be more or less intact."
On the Curtain's lifespan
"We think it [was] built in 1577, so that's a year after the first theater. And the last mention of it is in 1628, but it's just possible that it continued all the way up to 1642. And we know all the theaters would have been shut then, because the Puritans in power in England didn't like theaters, and didn't like people having a lot of fun, so they closed them all down."
On Shakespeare's audience at the Curtain
Some of William Shakespeare's most famous plays, like Romeo and Juliet, had their debut at the Curtain Theatre.
Bettmann/Corbis
  Some of William Shakespeare's most famous plays, like Romeo and Juliet, had their debut at the Curtain Theatre.
"It's probably not something for the elite. I think we've probably got to imagine that the productions were a bit more rowdy and the audience probably participated quite a lot more than they do in modern theatrical productions."

On the location of Shakespeare's theaters
"Well, to start with, the Theatre and the Curtain Theatre were in Shoreditch, which is immediately north of the City of London. So you can imagine that the theaters are in suburban areas that are just outside the jurisdiction of the city, so they can get away with quite a lot more. And then once the Rose and the Globe and the other theaters get built, they all get built on the south side of the river, again outside the city. So once the Theatre closes, the Curtain is on its own up in Shoreditch and all the rest are down in Southwark on the south side of the river."

On unexpected discoveries
"One of the nicest things is, buried in the floor, was a ceramic pot, just buried in the floor as a mouse trap. And I think those are the little things that are quite nice and give you a bit more of a feel for the people or the place."

On the future of the excavation
"Now we have to move on, in that we just located it, found it and covered it up for the time being. Now, if a new development gets permission to be built, then we'll be uncovering most of it, and we'll be putting it on display so that people can come and visit it, and that's when it will get really exciting."

This story is from NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday (click here).

Dare to dream...


Dreams can come true...It's up to you!

There is aptitude and there is talent. Both can be developed to meet personal, community, and professional needs.  

How good you are, how skilled, how studied depends entirely on how much you want to put into it. 

This web site, links, and the courses I teach, are intended to help you to meet your needs, to help you make your dreams come true...

I welcome your ideas, feedback or contributions.