Home and Family
Augusta and the Safe Homes Domestic Violence Intervention Center will commemorate awareness of National Teen Dating Violence Month today by decking out in purple, the official color of the movement.
Domestic violence, especially in teen relationships, can be devastating to its victims and have life-long effects. According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in four women will be subject to domestic violence in her lifetime and its most prevalent among younger people.
One argument is because teens and young people are often too immature to have a functioning relationship. Teens, due to self esteem issues caused by their young age, could allow themselves to be abused.
Another contributing factor is the home and family life of teens in these abusive relationships. Another statistic from the NCADV states that boys who witness violence in their home while growing up are twice as likely to abuse their girlfriends, wives, and eventually their children. Those on the receiving end of teen dating violence often do not know what a healthy, abuse-free relationship looks like, as their home life has painted a different and darker picture of relationships.
While teens are at a high risk for both participating in abuse and allowing themselves to be subject to it, many are taking a stand against it. By wearing purple today, you can pledge your support to the movement against domestic violence and to those suffering from it.
Teen Board Member Rachel Scaffe is a junior at Augusta Christian Schools
Theres a storm coming. Are you prepared?#13;
Metro Detroit is expected to be hammered with 10-15 inches of snow beginning Tuesday evening. A blizzard warning is under effect beginning at 7 pm, with wind gusts up to 30 mph and wind chills reaching down to zero.
So, besides stocking up on milk and investing in a generator, how else do you prepare for what–if it pans out–will be the worst snowstorm yet this season?
When a storm is on the way, most of us are concerned about home and family first. If youre worried about being snowed in, make sure to take care of essentials early: food, water, medication and fuel.
The power going out is a real threat, but there are multiple ways to prepare. Assess your home for any alternative heating sources or make sure you have a backup plan should the power go out for any length of time.
If you lose power, DTE Energy is urging residents report the outage immediately. Either send in a report online, from a mobile device at or call DTEs toll free number, 1-800-477-4747.
DTE also reccomends, in case of a power outage, protecting sensitve electronic equipment–such as computers and televisions–with surge protectors. Know how to safely reset your circuit breaker and stay away from any downed power lines.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should stock up on food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, as well as water stored in clean containers. Its also helpful to keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including a flashlight, battery-powered radio and lamps, extra batteries, first-aid kit and extra medicine, baby items and any items for your pets.
For many people, generators are the answer to power outages, but be wary. Never use a generator in your home or garage because the carbon monoxide is harmful. If you use candles for light, be extra cautious of the fire hazard.
Protect your car#13;
If youre going to be driving, at least be safe about it. The Michigan Department of Transportation advises drivers to check tire inflation, the battery, fluids and windshield wipers. When driving in slippery conditions, be sure to brake gently to avoid skidding; if you find yourself sliding and you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump the brakes–just apply steady pressure. If youre not car savvy, just visit your neighborhood mechanic.
Always keep an emergency kit in your car should you become stranded. According to Road and Travel Magazine, this should include:
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Distress sign
- Telephone charger
- First aid supplies
- Basic tools
- Jumper cables
- Ice scraper
Amy Hartman’s “Mercy and the Firefly” is the kind of play that’s aware of the world we in which we live. Among the topics it addresses: gangs, drug addiction and the decline of an American city.
Hartman draws some of the play’s details from real life–like the junkie who carries a poem around with him for years, waiting for the chance to read it to his ex-girlfriend, and a woman who fixes up a broken wrist with plywood, duct tape and a plastic bag.
The play–which is getting its world premier by the Luna Stage Company in West Orange Feb. 10 through March 13–follows 15-year-old Mercy Clark, who kills another girl as part of a gang initiation. Lucy Raftery, a nun and teacher of Mercy’s, learns what the girl has done, and instead of calling the police, drives her across the country to Lucy’s hometown of Homestead, Pa.
Hartman says “Mercy and the Firefly” is about “the mythology of who we are,” and how and why we create our identities. Lucy explores these issues as she reunites with her mother, Vivian, and her ex-boyfriend Oliver, a recovering junkie who is eight months clean.
Hartman said that in writing the play, she saw parallels between the Catholic Church and gang life. Vivian and Mercy are creating their own mythologies, one through religion the other through violence and gangs.
“I started to really see these similarities. … The structure and the human need for structure in the Catholic Church is very similar, I think, to what the gang offers to these kids,” she said. “We live in this really dangerous world, and the people who really suffer from this dangerous world are children.”
Underscoring that point is that Lucy and Mercy grew up under similar circumstances. Vivian was just 15 when she gave birth to Lucy, and there’s a lot about her mother Lucy doesnt know. But instead of following the gang life, Lucy became a nun.
“That’s sort of her gang,” Hartman said. “Because it has very stringent rules you have to follow, it has a direct code, it has a conversion mandate. So there really are a lot of sociological–I know this sounds really crazy–similarities.”
As the play progresses, Mercy fights for her survival (and identity) by taking control of a lot run by drug dealers and disrupting Oliver’s home. Lucy in turn struggles with being able to forgive the girl.
“The kid has this regret and she can’t live with herself for doing the killing,” Hartman said. “When she’s in East Los Angeles, the killing that happened within the gang is sanctioned, so it’s like being a solider. But once you take that killing out of its context, instead of becoming a soldier, she becomes a killer. So that’s what happens when Lucy moves her, she goes from being a soldier in a fight, to a killer, and she starts to see herself that way.”
Hartman grew up in Bergen County and now spends her time in New York City and Pittsburgh. She began forming the play during Bricolage Urban Sprawl, a 24-hour playwriting festival held each year by Bricolage Production Company in Pittsburgh. During the festival, six playwrights travel through Pittsburgh on a city bus, and have 12 hours to write a 10-minute play. While taking the tour, Hartman talked with some locals and started writing.
“It unfolded with little intervention from me,” she said. “I just took notes.”
Another unique element of the play is its opening, a rap recited by Mercy before her crime. The rap’s lyrics are in-your-face, with lines like: “What I got to give Lord / To prove I want to live Lord / I’ll pay the price / Make a sacrifice / Drop the dime, don’t want to do the crime. But, you got to dominate to demonstrate.”
The rap represents Mercy’s place between her church upbringing and the gang life, and Hartman said the fact that she wrote it is “bizarre”–because she’s a 50-year-old white woman. She wrote it while attending a writing workshop in New Mexico, and heard rap music playing in an adjoining room.
“I just started writing to that beat,” she says. “You should have seen these women’s faces the next day when I was reading it. They were all like, The picture doesn’t fit the music at all.”
“Mercy and the Firefly” will have its world premiere at Luna Stage Theatre Company, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, Feb. 10 to March 13. Tickets cost $20-$30. For information, call 973-395-5555, ext. 1 or go to lunastage.org.
THE ON STAGE SCOOP
Audition Alert, “The Taming of the Shrew:” Roles are still available for Brundage Park Playhouse’s “Taming of the Shrew.” Needed are two men in their 20s to 30s for the roles of Tranio and Hortensio, and two men in their 30s and up for the roles of Vincentio/Philip/Ensemble and The Mercent/Baptista’s Servent/Ensemble. All performers should move well. There is a fight scene that ends the first act involving basically the whole cast. The show, in general, will have a lot of physical comedy. Those interested should contact the director at email@example.com directly to arrange an audition.
Audition Alert, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory: Paper Mill describes the June 27 through July 30 conservatory as a rigorous five-week program designed to enhance performance skills, while instilling the technique, discipline and professionalism needed to excel in the performing arts. The end of the month is devoted to rehearsals for the New Voices concert, performed annually at the Paper Mill. Based on skill, experience and the quality of their audition, conservatory students are grouped into three companies, allowing them to develop at their own pace, while working on age- and skill-appropriate material. Accepted students will be placed into a Conservatory Company at the discretion of the Paper Mill Playhouse faculty and staff based on their audition performance skill level and approximate age. Placement determinations are not negotiable. Companies are divided into Junior (ages 10 to 12), Junior Plus (12 to 14) and Senior (ages 15 to 18) categories. Call 973-379-3636 ext. 2133 to schedule an audition. Click here for more information, and to download an audition application e-form.
New Managing Director for Shakespeare Theatre: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison announced that Jeanne Barrett, general manager of the theater since 2009, has been named managing director. Barrett will oversee the business operations and finances of the theater and, together with artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte and a team of six senior staff members, will oversee the production, artistic, education, development and marketing operations. ”I am thrilled to have Jeanne by my side as we approach our milestone 50th Anniversary season, Monte said in a release from the theater. “Jeanne understands the challenges we face and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, and she will be instrumental as we continue the great work of this theater.
Orphans, Thieves and Pickpockets: A little bit of Dickens will come to Randolph when Brundage Park Playhouse stages “Oliver!” Feb. 4 through 20. Based on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” Lionel Bart’s musical is about a boy who escapes a workhouse and joins a gang of thieves in London. The family-friendly show’s famous tunes include “Food Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself” and “You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two.” Go to brundageparkplayhouse.org for more information.
GO See HMS.: On Feb. 4, the New York Gilbert amp; Sullivan Players will bring Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS. Pinafore” to the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown. The operetta is the legendary duo’s first major success story about forbidden love among the social classes of British society and the Royal Navy. The 8 pm performance will be preceded by a lecture at 7 pm Tickets cost $37-$62.
What a Pippin: Villagers Theatre in Somerset will present the Tony-award winning musical “Pippin” Feb. 4 to 20. The show tells the story of a young prince, named Pippin, who sees the secret of happiness and fulfillment, through war, temptations and politics, and then through home and family. The show debuted on Broadway in 1972, running until 1977. The show’s music is by Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Wicked”) and was originally directed by Bob Fosse. Corey Rubel will direct Villagers’ “Pippin,” with choreography by Jillian Kimberlin and musical direction by David Regner. Tickets cost $18, $16 for seniors and students. The show contains mature subject matter recommended for audiences 16 and over. For ticket information, call 732-873-2710; villagerstheatre.com.
Audition Alert, Improv Night at the Pax: An open cast call for the first generation of the Castle Improv Group (including improv lessons, games and theory) will be held at the Pax Animus Castle Theatre in Budd Lake, Feb. 5 at 1 pm and Feb. 7 and 10 at 7 pm No previous experience is necessary. Come to as many audition sessions as desired, each will last about 90 minutes. Rehearsals/classes begin the week of Feb. 16. E-mail Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Happy Birthday, Sweet 16: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre in South Orange is celebrating its Sweet 16 with a benefit gala Feb. 5, from 7 to 10:30 pm All tickets include drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a cabaret-style show, dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Benefactor tickets cost $300 and include a season pass for the 2011-2012 season, Leader tickets cost $200 and include two tickets to Dreamcatcher’s next show, “Distracted.” Patron tickets cost $100 for the gala only. The gala benefit takes place in Barnwell Hall atChrist Church, 561 Springfield Avenue, Summit. For information, go to dreamcatcherrep.org/gala.html
Balancing Act: The New Shanghai Circus will perform two shows at theMayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown Feb. 5. The show will feature acrobats, jugglers and contortionists in a performance that brings 2,000 years of Chinese circus traditions to the stage. Tickets cost $25 for the 3 pm show and $32 for the 7 pm performance. Call 973-539-8008 or go to mayoarts.org for tickets. Also, see our full preview of the show on Morristown Patch.
Fairy Tale Ending: The Mayo Center’s Kids Club will present “Beauty and the Beast,” Feb. 6, 1:30 and 4:30 pm Bring the little ones to see Belle learn about the power of love when she discovers the kindness within the horrible Beast. Note: This musical is not based on the Disney movie. For ages 4-10. Tickets cost $12. Call 973-539-8008 or go to mayoarts.org for tickets.
Actors and Assassins: Luna Stage Theatre Company will host a reading of Thom Molyneaux’s “Booth, Lincoln, Booth” Feb. 7 at 7:30 pm The play examines the relationship between brothers Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, both Shakespearean actors, one of whom assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Information can be found at lunastage.org.
Wintertime Blues: The Mayo Center will host Hot Tuna Blues, an evening of acoustic and electric blues, Feb. 10 at 8 pm The concert will feature Hot Tuna with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, accompanied by blues icon Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica and guitar, and two-time Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale. Tickets cost $37-$57. Call 973-539-8008 or go to mayoarts.org for tickets.
Gotta Dance! Savion Glover will bring his latest creation, “SoLo in TiMe” to the Mayo Center, Feb. 11, 8 pm Glover and his company weave tap and flamenco traditions in this performance described by the Mayo Center’s website as “a breathtakingly electric montage of speed, rhythm, and song.” Tickets cost $37-$87. Call 973-539-8008 or go to mayoarts.org for tickets.
Here’s the Proof: Nutley Little Theatre will stage “Proof,” David Auburn’s 2001 Tony winner for Best Play, Feb. 11 to 26. The Feb. 11 performance is a benefit performance for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union counties. Tickets cost $15, $13 seniors/students. For tickets and information, go to nutleylittletheatre.com.
A Night For Love: The Chester Theatre Group at the Black River Playhouse in Chester will present a Valentine’s special, the romantic comedy “Love Letters” by A. R. Gurney on Feb. 11 and 12, 8 pm The play follows the “near misses” of a relationship through a lifetime of letters between a man and a woman, played by Chester Theatre Group regulars Pat Sheffield and Robert Sackstein. Their friendship unfolds from what is written–and what is left unwritten–in 50 years of letters, from summer camps and boarding schools through college, war, career and relationships. All seats cost $10. Reservations recommended: 908-879-7304. The Black River Playhouse is located at the corner of Maple and Grove streets in Chester. For more information, go to chestertheatregroup.org.
The World Goes Round, You Go To Parsippany: The Womens Theater Company in Parsippany will produce And The World Goes Round, The Songs of Kander and Ebb in February. The revue features songs from Cabaret, Chicago, Funny Lady, Kiss Of The Spiderwoman and other Broadway hits. Performances are Feb. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27. Friday and Saturday performances are 8 pm Sundays are 3 pm The show is at the Parsippany Community Center, 1140 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha. Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and $12 for students. Call 973-316-3033 or e-mail email@example.com.
Audition Alert, “The Mousetrap:” Brundage Park Playhouse will hold auditions for its production of “The Mousetrap” Feb. 12 and March 2, 7 to 9 p.m. Those auditioning are requested to bring a headshot or snapshot to the audition. Cold readings will be provided. No appointments are necessary. The mystery written by Agatha Christie features five male roles (three in their 20s, two who are older) and three female roles (two in their 20s and one who is older). Performances are May 5 through 15. For more information, go to brundageparkplayhouse.org.
Getting Nice and Naughty at the Bickford: A gay movie star, a male prostitute and his girlfriend, and a ruthless Hollywood agent take center stage in The Little Dog Laughed at the Bickford Theatre in Morris Township until Feb. 13. The comedy by Douglas Carter Beane ran in New York both off-Broadway and on Broadway in 2006, and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. In the play, actor Mitchell Green is poised to become a Hollywood star, but is determined to come out of the closet, leading Diane, his agent, to do whatever it takes to keep him there. The production stars Liz Zazzi, Mark Irish, Scott Tyler and Cynthia Fernandez. Eric Hafen directs. For ticket information, call 973-971-3706 or go to the theater’s website. Also, see our full story on it here.
Audition Alert, “Take Me Out:” Nutley Little Theatre is holding auditions for Richard Greenberg’s “Take Me Out” at the theater’s Barn, 47 Erie Place, Nutley, Feb. 13 and 14. The play is about Darren Lemming, a star baseball player who mistakenly thinks he’ll be accepted when he comes out of closet. For information on roles, go to nutleylittletheatre.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Some roles require nudity.) The play opens April 8 for a three-week run.
How Do You Spell Quirky? The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is continuing at the Paper Mill Playhouse through Feb. 13. From the theaters description, its the story of six quirky competitors and three oddball adults in search of spelling bee glory. Its a musical that tells its audience, If you like to laugh, if you like to spell, youll like this competition very well.
Audition Alert, “Beyond Therapy:” The Chatham Community Playerswill hold open auditions for Christopher Durang’s “Beyond Therapy” Feb. 15 and 16 at 7 pm The production runs May 6-21 at the Chatham Playhouse. Auditions will be at The Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave., Chatham. Director Lauren Moran Mills asks actors be familiar with the script. Sides will be provided at the audition. The character breakdown is two women (one in late 20s to early 30s, another late 30s to early 50s) and four men (two in their early to mid 30s, one late 30s to early 50s and one in his 20s). All roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Contact Kristin Furlong at 732-208-4184 or email@example.com with any questions. More information can be found at here.
Audition Alert, “The Wizard of Oz:” Hexagon Players of Mendhamwill auditions for “The Wizard of Oz,” at the Great Lutheran Church, 65 E. Main St., Feb. 16 and 18 at 6 pm Those auditioning should be prepared to sing a song from any show and bring sheet music in the key they’ll be singing. Show dates are May 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 at Bernards High Schoolin Bernardsville. For more information, call 973-543-8770.
Make It Up As You Go: Actors can add to their skill set and non-actors can try something new through Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre’s Improvisational Comedy for Adults course. Starting Feb. 19, Lulu French, a visiting artist with experience in improv, will help students of all levels learn traditional improv games, explore their own creative side in a supportive environment, develop spontaneity, and learn how to shed inhibitions. The last class will allow students to invite friends and family members to a showcase performance. The class is open to students 18 and older. Classes will be held Saturdays, Feb. 19 to April 23, 10 am to noon at Dreamcatcher’s third-floor space at the Baird Center in South Orange. Registration is on a first-come, first-servved basis. Cost is $333; register by Jan. 31 and save 10 percent. For information, go to dreamcatcherrep.org/education.html or e-mail info@DreamcatcherRep.org.
A Gala Evening: The Growing Stage children’s theater in Netcong will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the re-opening of the Palace Theatre with a gala on March 5. The evening includes cocktails, hors d ‘oeuvres, buffet dinner and dessert catered by the Black Forest Inn in Stanhope, a silent auction and performances by cast members of the theater’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Tickets cost $125, with proceeds benefiting The Growing Stages’ programs. RSVP by Feb. 19. Contact Managing Director Tom Romano at 973-347-4946 or firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Its Better Than Even Money: West Morris Central High Schools musical for this year will be Guys and Dolls, March 10, 11 and 12 at 7 pm; a matinee will also be March 12 at 2 pm Shows are in the West Morris Central High School Auditorium. More information here. (Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the show would be 42nd Street, which the school performed a few years ago).
With a Banjo on His Knee: There’ll be nothing wild and crazy going on when Steve Martin comes to the Mayo Center. Tickets for his concert of bluegrass and banjo music are on sale now. The concert is June 28. Martin’s 2009 album, “The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo,” won the 2009 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. For information on all shows at the Mayo Center, go to mayoarts.org or call the box office at 973-539-8008.
Celebrating Young Talent: The Madison Young Playwrights Festival will soon be taking reservations. Its a day-long festival celebrating work written by students in Madison schools. Watch this space for more information.
Do You Have A Jersey Voice? The Chatham Community Players group is seeking original, one-act plays, short musicals or original dance pieces, written by New Jersey authors, for the 17th annual Jersey Voices. Play submissions of any genre, style and length up to 20 minutes maximum running time will be accepted through March 15. E-mail submissions in Microsoft Word or PDF format to: email@example.com. For more information on the festival itself, see here.
Get Schooled: The educational touring wing of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare LIVE!, presents abridged productions of the Bards work that keeps Shakespeares language intact. Its offering A Midsummer Nights Dream and Julius Caesar Feb. 8 to June 10. For more info and bookings, see here.
Got some news for On Stage? E-mail Louis@Patch.com.
3 days ago
Women are living longer and are more qualified than men, but work fewer hours and earn less than their male counterparts.
A report on men and women in 2010 showed females are under-represented in the Oireachtas and are still the vast majority of those looking after the home and family.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) also said that while most workers in the health and education sectors were women, fewer held senior positions.
Copyright © 2011 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
Preparedness is a big, stressful task.
This week, as Muncie residents were getting ready for the impending foul weather which did show up as predicted stress was easily observable around town. At Walmart, the shelves were empty and the checkout lines were long. Customers sighed heavily and shuffled their feet in agitation.
Keeping in mind that the storm might not hit, we had to prepare for our daily routine as well. In the midst of buying batteries and bottled water and powering up the generator, the challenges of getting homework done, presentation posters printed, kids to their regular activities and dinner on the table just about did me in. I was stressed to the max.
I was reminded that stress is a big, mean monster, requiring self-control and coping strategies.
But preparedness doesnt just mean getting ready for a storm. Its necessary in any aspect of life, including school and work.
An article titled Stress and the College Student, published by National Health Ministries, indicates that certain forms of stress are normal and beneficial. Those that help us express our talents and energies and pursue happiness. But stress can also cause irritability, insomnia, raised heart rate, indigestion, headache and anxiety.
Worse yet, the National Cancer Institutes Stress Fact Sheet indicates that Stress that is chronic can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, depression and various other illnesses. Stress also can lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating, smoking or abusing drugs or alcohol, that may affect cancer risk.
For college students, academic pressure, sexual pressure, substance pressure, social pressure and being away from home and family are main causes of stress.
Being a college student is extremely stressful, said Emily Tinkle, a Ball State elementary education and special education major. I am a freshman, so I am adapting my studying habits, time management skills and thinking patterns to adjust. Being in a big family also adds stress to my life. I also work, which I enjoy very much, but [it] adds stress.
Tinkle said she copes with stress by trying to manage her time using a planner and Post-it notes. She also takes plenty of breaks and tries to treat herself, especially during times of high stress.
Finding healthy ways to deal with stress can go against ones instinct and peer behaviors, especially in college. Staying up all night studying for an exam, using alcohol and drugs and procrastinating are all tactics that will likely increase your stress.
To reduce and cope with stress, consider these tips:
bull; Get and stay organized. Write appointments and due dates in a planner and stay on schedule. Plan work time, class time, study time and recreation time realistically.
bull; Go to class. Its the easiest way to keep up with what the professor says and when assignments are due.
bull; Stay in touch with family and friends. That means not only having a social life on campus, but also calling, e-mailing and video chatting with people from your hometown.
bull; Eat right, exercise and sleep. This combination will keep you thinking clearly and prevent unhealthy changes in weight and physical stamina.
bull; Ask for help. If you need homework help, ask a classmate or professor. Professors want students to succeed. Talk to your friends and parents about your social needs. Seek campus resources for specific issues. The Writing Center offers writing feedback and tips, the Career Center offers help with job searches and skills, the Student Wellness and Recreation Center offers instructional classes and one-on-one instruction and the Amelia T. Wood Health Center and Counseling Practicum Clinic are great resources for your health and emotional well-being.
The effects of this ice storm will be gone and spring will come, leaving behind mere memories of the stress the storm caused. But your college career is here to stay for four or five years even longer if you go to grad school. Then the real world will provide more stress to tackle.
Its important to get a handle on coping with stress and keeping it to a healthy minimum. Be well.
BISMARCK – North Dakotans wanting to get a divorce would need to wait one year and go through mandatory marriage counseling if a proposed law is approved.
Senate Bill 2367 would affect married couples with children. Marriages with substantiated allegations of domestic abuse would be exempt.
Within the one-year waiting period, couples would need to participate jointly or separately in at least 10 one-hour marriage counseling sessions. The counseling could be provided by a paid or volunteer counselor, clergy member or any state-certified or licensed marriage mediator.
At least four counseling sessions would need to focus on post-marital financial planning.
A final divorce decree would not be granted or a final order entered until each party submits to the court certification of completion of the marital counseling.
Bill supporters emphasized the negative impact divorce has on children, citing research that these children are more apt to live in poverty, do worse in school and are involved more frequently in crime and drug abuse.
However, the State Bar Association of North Dakota said the bill would mean additional expense for clients, delay getting on with their lives and create additional opportunity for financial mischief and physical violence.
Bill sponsor Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, said the goal is to help reach agreements acceptable to both parties, to promote the children’s developmental needs and to prepare parents for future co-parenting roles if they do divorce.
“If we can save marriages or if we can have discussion if the marriage is not going to last to have a smooth transition, I think that will help the kids, and that’s what this bill is about,” Larsen said.
From 2005 to 2009, there were 9,574 divorces in North Dakota, said Tom Freier, executive director of the North Dakota Family Alliance. Of these, 4,543 divorces involved 7,985 minor children, he said.
Sen. Stan Lyson, R-Williston, said bill supporters didn’t provide information about the effect on children who live with parents who stay married even though they dislike each other.
Freier said studies show the most important thing is an intact home and family.
“The damage of a family breakup is greater than mom and dad not getting along all the time,” he said.
Sen. Curtis Olafson, R-Edinburg, asked Freier how he could argue to keep people in a marriage for another year when there’s been infidelity.
“There is no marriage where the two individuals cannot make a decision that, no matter what the cause of their wanting to have a divorce, that it cannot be saved,” Freier said.
Sen. Dave Nething, R-Jamestown, asked about the “substantiated allegations of domestic abuse” exception and said it was subjective. Janelle Moos of the North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services also wanted more clarification on what the wording meant.
“I think we have to be very cognizant of victims that either do or don’t come forward publicly,” she said.
She expressed concern about required marriage counseling for victims and perpetrators.
The Rev. Paul Schauer of Wilton, ND, also spoke against the bill. Schauer, who is divorced, said he was “somewhat offended” about the comments made about divorced people and their children.
As a pastor who has counseled couples going through divorce, he said he was “deeply opposed” to forced counseling.
“Counseling works best when a person recognizes that they need help and that they freely choose to seek help,” he said. “If you force someone to see a counselor, there’s very little hope for growth.”
If counseling was required, Schauer said the number of couples divorcing would overwhelm his time. He also said the bill allows couples to do the counseling together or apart.
“If I don’t meet with them as a couple, it’s not going to work,” he said.
He also questioned what would determine if someone has successfully completed counseling, saying someone could just sit there and refuse to talk during the sessions.
“If we’re realistic about this, if a partner has reached the point of filing for divorce, no amount of marital counseling will fix that,” Schauer said. “Counseling is not a magical treatment … if they’ve filed for divorce, the plane has already left the runway.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee did not take immediate action on the bill.
Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.
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New Havens US Congresswoman came to town to warn job development programs like CT Works Career Center that the upcoming legislative session in DC could lead to drastic funding cuts. And people like Army Veteran Michael Gonzalez could lose part of the support system the center provides for out of work adults.
Its really tough to find work in this market right now, said Gonzalez (pictured). But the center has helped a lot, with resumes and sending me job listings, that sort of thing.
Gonzalez, who is 41 years old and trained in satellite technology, tapped away on a computer keyboard at the CT Works One-Stop Career Center in New Haven on Monday, looking for jobs. Meanwhile, US Rep. Rosa DeLauro toured the facility.
We should be focused on the interests of American workers, DeLauro said as she stopped by the center Monday, talking to job searchers and popping in to computer labs like the one Gonzalez used. Not on tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. DeLauro, a Democrat, was sounding a warning: Now that Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, big budget cuts loom. Conservatives in Congress are looking to cut budget levels to where they were before the recession began in 2008.
And programs like this center are in real danger under the Republican budget, she said.
DeLauro toured the facility with Bill Villano, executive director of Workforce Alliance, the policy and oversight organization responsible for the 20 CT Works Career Centers across Connecticut. The CT Works Centers across Connecticut provide access to computer labs, career counseling, skill development and resume workshops.
People want jobs. They want to work, she said. And these programs provide valuable services to help them.
Kymbel Branch, manager of career development services for CT Works New Haven, said shes noted a shift in people visiting the center. People who used to have $100,000 salaries are now coming in for help finding work, she said.
Branch said the change happened quickly, within the last two to three years. It corresponded, of course, with the recession. Weve had to expand the kinds of workshops we provide, and train our own staff to accommodate people with a different level of skill sets, she said.
We have seen over the last year or so dramatic increases in the number of people who visit these One-Stop centers, Villano said during a press conference at the end of DeLauros visit. In the last fiscal year, in four One-Stop Centers in our region we saw 19,000 unique individual customers that accounted for over 80,000 visits to the center.
Villano (pictured) showed slides showing the effects of the recession on unemployment. The Connecticut economy lost a total of 98,100 jobs between March 2008 and December 2010, he said.
And its going to be a long and slow climb out of this, he said.
CT Works budget is around $18 million annually, up from around $12-13 million before the recession hit, said marketing director Robert Fort. But the money we received from stimulus funding will run out by June 30ththe end of the fiscal year.
CT Works is funded by the federal government. Were really in jeopardy in Congress, said Fort. People dont get unemployed because theyre Republican or Democratsthey just get unemployed.
But Fort said he doesnt think the center will disappear under looming budget cuts. Its hard to imagine with this kind of economy, he said. But its about what level of services we can still provide.
DeLauro took the podium at the press conference, getting into the politics of it all.
We have a new majority in the House. And I dont want to get into bickering, she said, But we have a whole lot of Republicans who want to roll back the level of spending to where it was before the recession hit.
DeLauro said Republicans arent willing to cut the defense budget, but would be happy to cut education, food safety, veterans benefits and health care and the Workforce Investment Actthe 1998 piece of legislation that supports job training programs like CT Works.
We could potentially lose $1.5 billion in funding for job training, she said. An estimated 1.5 billion Americans could lose access to programs like this.
And this is not the moment to turn the lights out on CT Works by pulling away funding, she said. Folks are flooding in the door because of the rough economic times.
We hear discussion of economic recovery, said DeLauro. But Id love for all of those economists to come down here and experience this center, and the people using it, firsthand.
Republican State Rep. Vincent Candelora questioned DeLauros statements. I think its unfortunate that thats the way Rep. DeLauro would characterize the issue. Its not about a Republican or Democrat budget, he said when contacted for comment after the event.
Bottom line is we have to reduce spending because the money isnt there anymore. There are a lot of good programs that may have to be eliminated, and there may be some bad ones. But to say the Republicans are doing it just brings in partisan politics.
He also questioned the effectiveness of CT Works. On paper it sounds great but Im not sure that it really produces results, he said. I dont hear from my constituents that theyre using these sorts of programs. Not to say that no one is, but anecdotally, people really are on the street pounding the pavement and being creative in their job searches, doing it on their own.
Candelora said the budget would clearly need to be a bipartisan effort. Its really irresponsibly to cast any cuts onto the Republicans only.
Looking for Work
Ray Barbaresi (pictured) Monday told the audience, and DeLauro, about his experience with the center. I had a 30 year career with Sikorsky Aircraft before I was laid off, he said. It was a big shock and it was detrimental to my home and family.
Barbaresi used the center for computer access and workshops. They offered networking possibilities, guidance, any time I needed it. I could come down any time. It was very, very helpful, he said.
Through their services, he was able to find a job with Milford Fabricating Co., Inc. Im able to keep my home now, he said. They gave me confidence – after being out of work so long you really lose that confidence. They gave it back to me.
Its really a much needed agency that more people should get involved with, he said.
While DeLauro toured the center and gave her press conference, Gonzalez checked the status of his student aid money. Im in my first semester of school, he said, working full time towards a certificate in Automotive Technology at Gateway Community College.
Gonzalez, who served in the Army for nine years, recently lost his mother and is now living at a shelter for homeless veterans.
Its hard going back to school after 23 years, he said. Hes now 41 and hoping to switch careers. The Army trained me in satellite communications, but its harder to get work in those fields now. He worked for Southern New England Telephone Company for some time, then was laid off.
CT Works has helped him with job counseling and resume building. Theyre helping me look for part-time work at an auto body shop so I can pay for my expenses while Im in school, he said.
Its been tough, he said. But thats life.
Less than a day away from signing day, Utahs recruiting class is hardly settled as several recruits targeted by the Utes remain uncommitted.
Two tight ends are high on Utahs want list in Andrew Peterson, a 6-foot-6, 255-pounder out of Seagoville HS in Texas and Nila Kasitati out of Trinity HS in Euless, Texas. Interest in Peterson has increased tremendously in recent weeks but there is a feeling he could be 50-50 on committing to the Utes, perhaps more.
Kasitati committed to Baylor but still entertained other offers.
Staying close to home and family could be the deciding factor for the sought after player.
Michael Eubank, the quarterback out of Corona, Calif. who committed to Arizona State but is considering Utah and Pitt, will announce his decision on FoxSportsWest.com at 1 pm on Wednesday. The overall feeling is he will stick with ASU.
The Utes also had a visit with Devin Lucien, a receiver out of Encino, Calif., whose final list includes Utah, UCLA, Colorado, Arizona State and Miami. He will announce his decision at 4 pm
Two of the most intriguing players who will sign are Rancho Verde High (Moreno Valley, Calif.) teammates Ryan Henderson and Junior Pomee.
Pomee, a tight end, committed to USC Monday night according to his parents. However, Henderson said today in a text he didnt think that commitment was solid.
Henderson and Pomee have said they want to play together in college. Henderson hasnt announced his decision so seeing which way the friends go could be one of the more intriguing storylines of the day.
By Ray Hoffman
Lets consider todays column an Ode to February, shall we? Ah, February, usually a rather dismal month whose name is loosely translated to mean ice or hard frost or purification. Were February a person, we would most likely call him/her Shorty.
Although existing for only 28 days (except every fourth year when it leaps to 29), February has done rather well throughout the years in the milestone news-making business. Consider: Groundhog Day, St. Valentines Day, Presidents Day and Black History Month. February also was the month when the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution (black suffrage) was proposed (1869) and the 16th Amendment (the income-tax law) was ratified (1913). And, in 1964, popular music was changed forever one February day when the Beatles set foot on American soil and were headlined on TVs most-watched program, The Ed Sullivan Show, a few nights later.
In the birthday department, many notable personalities took their first breath in February, including Norman Rockwell, James Michener, Johannes Gutenberg, Charles Lindbergh, Rosa Parks, Jules Verne, James Dean, William Henry Harrison, Carole King, Mia Farrow, Bob Griese, Ted Koppel and Morgan Fairchild.
All that being documented, February seems to be an appropriate time for the first serving of the new year for Main Line Banters signature literary dish: NewsOp Stew. For the enlightenment of new readers, NewsOp Stew is a periodic recipe (never twice the same) of news items along the Line, sprinkled with personal opinions and miscellaneous musings that may or may not be related to the news ingredients.You might look at it as a salmagundi of whats happening around town and What did you say? Lets get to whats happening (news) first.
On the retail front, an Urgent Care Center is scheduled to open soon at the Gateway Shopping Center, Wayne, in the free-standing building behind the Lukoil station at Valley Forge Road. It will be operated (no pun intended) by Phoenixville Hospital … In the Devon/Strafford section of Lancaster Avenue, an addition is being built for more retail space in the Shops at Devon, including a new bank location, and the Whole Foods Market will be expanding into the adjacent former Honeybaked Hams store … In Chesterbrook there is still hope that a new Bottom Dollar Market will sign a lease for the vacant Genuardis space … People who bought multiple-wash pre-paid packages for Dukes Firehose Company in Frazer, and havent been there lately, may be surprised to find that their cards or coupons are no longer valid. The operation was taken over at the end of the year by the Frazer Auto Wash owners who claim that Dukes operator owed a bundle of money to them, and Duke is no longer part of that facility. Banter understands the the Dukes in Conshohocken is still accepting Dukes pre-paid cards. Report is that a class-action suit is in the offing …
On a more pleasant note, the annual Berwyn Victory Run will be held again this year on Saturday, May 21. Bill Bellew Sr. will be coordinating the event along with founder Bill DeHaven. Malvern Federal Savings Bank again will be the principal sponsor of this popular 5K community run that starts and ends in Easttowns Johnson Park. More about the run in future Banters.
On the entertainment front, Berwyns Footlighers Theater is presenting Sylvia on its Main Avenue stage Feb. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18 and 19. Sylvia is a play by AR Gurney, and directed by Kirk Paul, about an adopted dog and the turmoil she causes to the couple that took her in. Please call 610-296-9245 for tickets and information.
Chabad Lubavitch, Valley Forge Road, Devon, is sponsoring Toward A Meaningful Life: A Soul-Searching Journey for Every Jew every Tuesday evening beginning next week For more information visit myjli.com or call 610-971-9977. Session topics are Discovering Your Personal Mission Statement, Marriage, Love and Intimacy, Home and Family, Work, Charity and Wealth, Pain, Loss and Anxiety and Religion and Faith.
Lastly, State Rep. Warren Kampf (R-157th) has been appointed to the House Labor and Industry Committee as well as the Local Government, Consumer Affairs and Urban Affairs committees for the 2011-12 legislative session.
Now for the op part of the stew, sprinkled with a bit of What did you say? and a dash of Tredyffrin Township and Chester County politics.
In Tredyffrin its my opinion that longtime supervisor Bob Lamina will not stand for re-election this spring, and the TTRC will present two new candidates for supervisor seats as well as back incumbents Paul Olson and John DiBuonaventuro to retain theirs. The new faces on the Republican side will be the person who will be named next week to fill the vacancy created by Warren Kampfs ascension to the state house. The other will be someone to replace Lamina. Its a good possibility that one of the new faces will be a woman. The township Dems, of course, will be eager to put four names in consideration on their side of the aisle in mid-Mays primary, all of whom would run in November. I look for one familiar Dem name from previous elections not to be one of those four. More in future columns.
In the county DA and commissioner races, look for Pat Carmody, an assistant DA, and Tom Hogan, solicitor of Tredyffrin Township and a partner in the powerful Lamb, McErlane law firm, to soon emerge from the slugfest of local Republican committees. One will get the nomination and the other will most likely will have an IOU for a future judgeship for being a good soldier in vying for the position being vacated by Joe Carroll (hes going to the bench). This week or next, we most likely will learn that the Chester County Court of Common Pleas has named Ryan Costello as the interim replacement for Carol Aichele (now a member of Gov. Tom Corbetts cabinet) and that Costello, of Pottstown and Phoenixville, will run for a full term for commish. Costello is a young lawyer with the firm of ODonnell, Weiss and Mattei, and is an Ursinus College graduate (1999) and a Villanova University School of Law graduate (2002). It will be verrry interesting, as Arte Johnson used to say on TVs Laugh-In show, who the Dems will counter with across the board. Good candidates on both sides help the process of good government.
I hope that I am not alone in finding copious sections of Obamacare frightening. Of the many terms and conditions that fit that description, two of the most chilling make me want to shout out What did you say? They are on pages 58/59 and read: The government will have real-time access to an individuals bank account, and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts, and lines 14/15 on Page 203, which reads: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. May the spirits of our founding fathers not return to haunt us! Continued…
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Taboo is a founding member of the six-time Grammy Award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas. A Mexican-American with Shoshone blood on his mother’s side, Jaime Luis Gomez defied expectations early on–first by rejecting the limitations imposed on him by society, then by staying true to his dream of becoming a star. In FALLIN’ UP: My Story (Touchstone Hardcover/Simon amp; Schuster; February 8, 2011; $24.99; ISBN: 978-1-4391-9206-1), he tells the riveting story of his journey from the drug crime-ridden neighborhoods of LA to the packed performance sites around the world.
During a childhood spent moving between el barrio and the mixed-race community where his beloved grandmother lived, Taboo fell under the spell of the Spanish music his grandmother adored while at the same time embracing the pulse of hip hop. By the time he entered his teens, Taboo was an agile break dancer; he’d perfected all the floating, gliding, and sliding moves through hours of dedicated practice. In the Mexican-American community of Rosemead, where he eventually settled with his mother and stepfather, “no one…had ever heard of a Mexican b-boy. I was a hip-hop kid in a community where there was no such thing as hip-hop kids.” Taboo, the tag he first used when doodling in school, represented the path he was forging for himself–”Off-limits. Unspeakable. Something forbidden. Something non-conformist.”
Taboo built his skills–and his street cred–at hip-hop venues throughout LA It was at a hip-hop club that he first saw william, “an eccentric-looking black kid rapping like a madman” and apl.de.ap, “a Filipino dude dancing better than I had ever seen anyone dance…” In 1995, the three came together as The Black Eyed Peas, and right from the start, the group stood out: “[We] didn’t subscribe to lyrics about crack dens and AK-47. We were…promoting more feel good, progressive hip-hop. We were about braggadocious hope, not braggadocious violence.”
As he traces the rise of The Black Eyed Peas, Taboo reveals the inner workings of the music business during the 1990s and 2000s. He introduces a host of well-known performers, from Flavor Flav, Eminem, and Gwen Stefani, to Sting, the Rolling Stones, U2 and the great James Brown. He brings to life the exhilaration of performing for audiences throughout the world and the overwhelming exhaustion of spending months on tour, far from home and family. He writes about the Peas’ first encounter with Stacy Ferguson and discusses with wit and insight her unique contributions to the popularity of the group. His description of the evolution of The Black Eyed Peas offer an unprecedented look at the shaping of their style as they stepped outside their hip-hop foundation and integrated elements from different musical traditions to create a sound all their own.
Behind the stories of Grammy Awards, platinum albums, sold-out concerts and other moments of triumph recorded in FALLIN’ UP, Taboo tells another, darker tale. He writes about his long neglect of the son he had at eighteen; Jaymie Dizon, the woman who eventually became his wife and the mother of his second son; and the addictions to drugs and alcohol that almost ended his career. In detailed accounts of his missteps and mistakes, including drunken episodes during and after concerts, he shines an unforgiving light on himself and recalls with love and thanks the critical support he received from Jaymie, his friends and family, and his fellow-band members when he finally decided to turn his life around.
On June 10, 2010 The Black Eyed Peas performed at the World Cup Kick-Off Celebration concert in South Africa; their latest album, “The Beginning,” was released in November 2010. They–and their millions of followers–are anticipating another triumph when the group appears during the halftime show at the Super Bowl on February 6, 2011. FALLIN’ UP provides the first inside look at the making of the band, is must-reading for fans old and new.
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