Daily Archives: May 3, 2008

Struggling to stretch dollars at 82

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Economy

Her dream altered, Shay still sets sights on Beijing

Alicia Shay has had a steady stream of visitors to the Flagstaff, Ariz., home that she and Ryan moved into a year ago. Her former Stanford teammates have come to train with her, including Lauren Fleshman, the 2006 U.S. 5,000 champion. Ryan Hall, the Olympic trials marathon champion, and his wife, Sara, stayed with Shay in January. Her parents and two sisters have been regular visitors.

“I was amazed being there seeing first-hand how she deals with Ryan’s death day to day,” says Sara Hall, who was a bridesmaid in the Shays’ wedding. “She told me before that God was meeting her every need each day. To actually be there and see that was incredible. Her faith is very real.”

So is the pain that can surface suddenly. “All day I have thoughts and memories of Ryan and us moving into my mind,” says Shay, who hosted an Easter brunch for 35 that included many runners. “When I’m not with people I can let down with, I’m constantly overriding and repressing those thoughts, memories and emotions. That’s when a small thing can set me off and it all comes crashing down.

“A lot of times at night, it really gets hard. You lay there and there’s nothing to distract you. Sometimes If I can say it out loud, I can move on. Or I cry and five minutes later, I can handle the rest of the day.”

Elizabeth caught this one in yesterday’s USA Today–read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Sports

Some Colleges let guys, girls Share a Room

Erik Youngdahl and Michelle Garcia share a dorm room at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University. But they say there’s no funny business going on. Really. They mean it.

They have set up their beds side-by-side like Lucy and Ricky in “I Love Lucy,” and avert their eyes when one of them is changing clothes.

“People are shocked to hear that it’s happening and even that it’s possible,” said Youngdahl, a 20-year-old sophomore. But “once you actually live in it, it doesn’t actually turn into a big deal.”

In the prim 1950s, college dorms were off-limits to members of the opposite sex. Then came the 1970s, when male and female students started crossing paths in coed dormitories. Now, to the astonishment of some Baby Boomer parents, a growing number of colleges are going even further: coed rooms.

At least two dozen schools, including Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin College, Clark University and the California Institute of Technology, allow some or all students to share a room with anyone they choose ”” including someone of the opposite sex. This spring, as students sign up for next year’s room, more schools are following suit, including Stanford University.

Read it all (the headline used is the one from the front page of the local paper this morning).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education

S.C. National Guard members return home

More Charleston area troops are making their way home from extended overseas deployments in the war.

Twenty-six members of the South Carolina National Guard’s 218th Brigade Combat Team who served in Afghanistan arrived Thursday in North Charleston.

A contracted airline’s bankruptcy last month prevented hundreds of soldiers from getting home on time.

One of them was Capt. Trae Redmond III, who was among the group that arrived about 5 p.m. Thursday at the National Guard Armory on Cross County Road. He left in January 2007 and his son, Grady, was born the next month.

“We got through it,” Redmond’s wife, Jennifer, said Friday evening as her husband bathed their son at their North Charleston home.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Military / Armed Forces

Congratulations to Manchester United

I watched it live streaming on Italian TV but couldn’t ever find any audio accessible in the U.S. It will be interesting to see if they can successfully defend the title with only about one week to go in the season.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

In California Water Rationing is Necessary in Some Places

State water officials reported Thursday that the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the source of a huge portion of California’s water supply, was only 67 percent of normal, due in part to historically low rainfall in March and April.

With many reservoirs at well-below-average levels from the previous winter and a federal ruling limiting water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the new data added a dimension to a crisis already complicated by crumbling infrastructure, surging population and environmental concerns.

“We’re in a dry spell if not a drought,” said California Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman. “We’re in the second year, and if we’re looking at a third year, we’re talking about a serious problem.”

Chrisman stopped short of saying the state would issue mandatory water rationing, which appears possible only if the governor declares a state of emergency. Rather, the burden will fall on local water agencies. Many, such as San Francisco and Marin County, have asked residents and businesses over the past year to cut water usage voluntarily by 10 to 20 percent.

Others have taken more drastic steps.

In Southern California, the water district serving about 330,000 people in Orange County enacted water rationing last year, due in part to a ruling by U.S. Judge Oliver Wanger reducing water pumped from the delta by about a third to protect an endangered fish.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources

Archbishop Gregory Venables at St John’s Shaughnessy

An audio resource for those interested.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

Living Church: No Pulpit Ban for Gene Robinson

Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire has not been banned from pulpits in the Church of England according to a spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who denied press speculation that the Archbishop Rowan Williams was attempting to silence Bishop Robinson.

A press officer confirmed on May 2 that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had not issued Bishop Robinson a license to officiate in the Province of Canterbury. However, Church of England canon law does not grant the archbishop the authority to ban preachers, the spokesman noted.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

Wheaton College professor's divorce costs him his job

At another college, professor Kent Gramm’s divorce from his wife of 30 years might be a private matter known only to friends and close colleagues.

But at Wheaton College, the end of the popular English professor’s marriage has cost him his job””and sparked a debate about whether a divorce should disqualify a faculty member from teaching there.

Though the college has sometimes hired or retained staff employees whose marriages have ended, officials say those employees must talk with a staff member to determine whether the divorce meets Biblical standards. Gramm told administrators about his divorce but declined to discuss the details.

“I think it’s wrong to have to discuss your personal life with your employer,” he said, “and I also don’t want to be in a position of accusing my spouse, so I declined to appeal or discuss the matter in any way with my employer.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches

David C. Steinmetz: Changing American Catholicism

For example [a numbers of years ago]…, American stores were never open 24-7 and few women were doctors, lawyers or ministers. The birth-control pill had not been invented and American society was generally intolerant of casual sex or births outside of marriage. Nudity and profanity were forbidden in movies — even married couples were portrayed in twin beds. Americans were generally respectful of authority and tended to trust what they were told by people who should have known.

Catholics thought of themselves at the time as a minority in a generally Protestant country. Although they paid taxes to support public schools, they were likely to send their children to parochial schools to develop a better sense of Catholic teaching and practice, especially since the public sense of “religion” was largely a watered-down version of liberal Protestantism.

All of which changed, sometimes dramatically, sometimes incrementally, in the next 50 years. Pope Benedict now faces an American Catholic Church different from the traditional minority church of Francis Cardinal Spellman and Elizabeth Ann Seton. Roman Catholics have become, in every sense of the term, American insiders. There is no reason for them to feel insecure about their social or political status, and they generally do not.

The downside of full inclusion in American society is that there is no American problem that is not a Catholic problem: drugs, crime, teenage pregnancy, divorce, loss of members, or the alienation of youth from the church. In short, whatever troubles their non-Catholic neighbors troubles them.

Moreover, there has been a steady attrition of native-born Catholics, whose places in the local parish have been taken by Hispanic immigrants. The Pew Foundation discovered that one in 10 Americans now considers himself or herself an ex-Catholic.

Some of the losses may be due to Catholic failures…

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Other Churches, Roman Catholic

NPR: Credit Picture Different for Rich, Poor Households

Listen to it all and see what you make of the question of whether there are two Americas.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Richard Harries: Can Restorative Justice help people to change their lives?

10 years ago the Thames Valley Police pioneered “Restorative Justice”, with the aim of giving every victim an opportunity to meet the perpetrator of the crime against them. Celebrating 10 years of development we had the opportunity to meet a man, lets call him Pete, who had spent most of his adult life in prison. We also met Dave, who told us that coming back one night he found an intruder in his house, whom he fought and finally got arrested. This intruder, Pete, and Dave were brought together-not very easily. Pete said that at the time he would far rather have gone straight to the Old Bailey and prison, for at least he knew where he was there, rather than face his victim. At the meeting Pete began by saying “When we last met”. This casual reference, as though they had met in a pub, so infuriated Dave, that it unleashed a torrent of emotion about how he had felt about having his house broken into, and how every time he had gone through his door since, he had wondered if there would be an intruder. In response to this Pete said, that for the first time in his life, he had felt a victim’s pain. He had done hundreds of crimes, mainly for drugs, and never given his victims a thought, but now, experiencing the pain of one of them, as he put it “Blew him”.

It cannot have been easy after that, but he got himself off heroin, went to college, and for the first time in his life did a job.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture