Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am dismayed at the in-humane handling of cattle that has resulted in the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company.

In a press release today, California-based Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. indicated that it has voluntarily recalled just over 143 million pounds (65 million kilograms) of raw and frozen beef products, which is considered to be the largest single recall of beef products in U.S. history. The move follows an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) into allegations of animal cruelty and mishandling of cattle destined for the human food chain.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had determined that beef products produced by the Chino, California company were unfit for human consumption as the cattle had not received “complete and proper inspection.”

The recall has been designated as Class II, which the USDA describes as “a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”

On Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer indicated that charges had been laid against employees of the plant alleged to have taken part in the mistreatment of cattle. “Today [Friday], the San Bernardino District Attorney filed felony animal cruelty charges against two employees who were terminated by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company,” said Schafer. “It is regrettable that these animals were mistreated and I am encouraged and supportive of these actions by the San Bernardino District Attorney in response to this mistreatment.”

The USDA learned of the possible inhumane handling of non-ambulatory (disabled) cattle at the packing plant on January 30 and has since suspended activities at the plant. “We continue to conduct a thorough investigation into whether any violations of food safety or additional humane handling regulations have occurred,” said Secretary Schafer in a press release. “On February 8, our Office of the Inspector General took the lead on the investigation. At that time, USDA extended the administrative hold on Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company products for the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations while the investigation continues,” said Schafer.

The FSIS reported that Hallmark/Westland had not contacted the FSIS public health veterinarian, as required, when cattle became ill or disabled after undergoing ante-mortem (slaughter) inspection, putting the company out of compliance with FSIS regulations. “Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” explained Secretary Schafer.

The cruelty charges stem from an undercover video that reportedly showed sick cattle being moved by crews using forklifts.

“Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007,” said Steve Mendell, President, Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing. “We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training.”

The USDA stressed that it is “extremely unlikely” that the cattle involved were at risk for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad-cow disease due to the employment of multiple safeguards. The USDA felt the recall was required, however, as the plant had allegedly violated USDA regulations.

The recall involves raw and frozen beef products produced on various dates from February 1, 2006 to February 2, 2008. For further information about the recall, consumers, media, and distributors are encouraged to contact Hallmark/Westland’s Plant Manager Stan Mendell or Food Safety Consultant Steve Sayer at (909) 590-3340 or the FSIS website, www.fsis.usda.gov.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Four people were killed and another four wounded in an early-morning shooting at a Buffalo, New York restaurant yesterday. The shooting occurred as a party held in the restaurant was coming to a close.

At about 2:30 a.m. EDT (06:30 UTC), shots were fired outside the City Grill in downtown Buffalo. The victims were leaving a party in the restaurant, said authorities. The City Grill’s managers had just decided to close the restaurant until it was scheduled to next open due to an argument inside when the shooting happened.

At least 100 people had attended the party, in order to celebrate the first anniversary of a couple whose wedding was held last year. A formal anniversary event was scheduled for a later date, officials said. The couple had married in Texas one year ago and came to Buffalo to celebrate with friends and relatives. The 30-year-old husband, who was born in Buffalo, was one of the four killed in the shooting, but his wife was not hurt.

Police have not yet released the identities of the victims. Of the three others killed, one was a 26-year-old man and two others were women. Those two were identified as 27-year-old Shawntia McNeil by McNeil’s mother, Ruby Martin, and 32-year-old Tiffany Wilhite by Martin and Tiffany Wilhite’s father, Raymond Wilhite. Three of the four were pronounced dead at the crime scene, while the fourth died in a hospital. The four injured in the shooting were all men, said authorities. As of Saturday afternoon local time, one was in critical condition at an area hospital, two were in stable condition, and one was in good condition.

Latoya Nuness, who witnessed the shooting as she was leaving the restaurant with friends, said, “I’ve never been through anything so crazy.” She and her companions then ran into the kitchen for cover. “They were just shooting whoever they could shoot,” she said.

Police arrested 25-year-old Buffalo resident Keith Johnson in connection with the shooting on Saturday afternoon. Johnson was charged with four counts of second-degree murder. Police do not know if he was a part of the fight that happened inside the City Grill, and have asked witnesses to step forward.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Soprano Beverly Sills, who brought opera to United States popular culture through frequent television appearances, died last night at her home in New York. She was 78.

Born Belle Miriam Silverman on May 25, 1929 in Brooklyn, she was nicknamed “Bubbles”, and started singing at age three, winning talent contests and singing on the radio.

She made her professional stage debut in 1945, with a touring Gilbert and Sullivan show, and in 1947, started singing opera as Frasquite in Carmen with the Philadelphia City Opera. She sang with the San Francisco Opera and the New York City Opera.

She married in 1956 to journalist and Cleveland Plain Dealer publishing heir Peter Greenough, and had two children with him. One was deaf and the other mentally retarded, so Sills curtailed her performances to care for them.

She returned to opera in 1962, with the Opera Company of Boston, and then reached her peak singing years in the mid- and late-1960s, singing with the New York City Opera.

She made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in April 1975, receiving an 18-minute ovation for her performance in The Siege of Corinth.

At the height of her popularity in the 1970s, she was a regular guest on television variety shows with Danny Kaye, Carol Burnett and The Muppet Show. She was even a guest host on Johnny Carson‘s The Tonight Show. For two years, she had her own weekly talk show. Sills graced magazine covers, such as Time and Newsweek, as an example of an American who conquered the European-dominated world of classical music.

After retiring from performing in 1980, Sills became the general manager of the New York City Opera. She became the chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1994, and 2002 was appointed head of the Metropolitan Opera.

Sills had surgery for cancer in 1974, but it had been revealed last month that she was ill with an aggressive form of lung cancer, though she never smoked. She died about 9 p.m. ET yesterday at her home in Manhattan with her family and doctor at her side.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 32nd round of the English Premiership took place this past weekend with both the battles for the league title and the battle against relegation still raging on. The fate of one team has been sealed for the rest of the season as Derby County has been mathematically guaranteed relegation, setting a new league record for earliest relegation. At the top of the table, nothing changed this week as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool all won.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The California Controller’s office reports that eleven state agencies have given US$13.3 million in pay and travel advances that have not been collected.

Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order to recover uncollected loans by the agencies. A press release from the governor’s office states, “The Governor’s Executive Order seeks to recover taxpayer dollars by directing state agencies and departments to clear salary and travel advances within 30 days through an expense claim.” Any outstanding balance will be deducted from employees’ paychecks under the governor’s order after the 30 days.

Under California state law, state employees are permitted to receive advances for hardship, travel, and other circumstances. These advances cannot be collected by agencies after three years without the employee’s consent.

State Controller John Chiang said in a statement, “The state’s poor debt collection and accounting practices are fleecing public coffers at a time when vital public programs are being decimated by unprecedented budget cuts.” Chiang’s office expects there will be more money unaccounted for, including some from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). California state law mandates that anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol is required to pay for the investigation. The CHP has not collected this money.

The California Department of Transportation, also called Caltrans, has the largest debt of the eleven agencies: $3.2 million. Cal Fire, or the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “had an outstanding balance of $1.44 million as of June 30, 2008. An overwhelming portion of that balance was related to employee salary and travel advances,” according to a controller’s office audit.

Chiang’s office had informed former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger there were outstanding debts, but Schwarzenegger’s administration did not take action.

All eleven agencies have agreed to hand over any delinquent accounts to the controller’s office, who will collect these debts.

bytimothyharvard

When you need to go away from home for overnight or longer and bringing pets isn’t an option there are a few options available to help you and each option can have some pros and cons to it.

Leave Your Pet with a Friend

If you have a friend willing to have your pet visit with them for the duration of your trip away, this can put your mind at ease. There are some pros and cons to this arrangement, depending on the scenario. Most people aren’t willing to bring someone else’s pet into their home for an extended period of time and even if they do, the pet could get homesick and this can manifest itself in a variety of ways including depression and digestive issues.

Have Someone Stop by Your Place to Check on Your Pet / Pet Sit

Having a pet sitter, a professional one, or a friend willing to pet sit can be helpful as your pet will be in familiar surroundings. If they aren’t able to house sit as well, though, your pet will likely be alone for long periods of time.

Use Pet Boarding Services

When it comes to animal care, pet boarding services can be a great option designed to provide optimal care and comfort for your pet. If you do opt to go this route you should research your options carefully to find a pet hotel / pet boarding service that appeals to you and that has a great reputation.

Regardless of the option you choose you might be worried about your pet’s anxiety levels (as well as your own) while you are gone. Here are some tips:

* Check in. some pet boarding services will even let you do a web cam check-in, which can make both you and your pet feel better.* If using boarding, consider choosing a pet hotel rather than a kennel that will keep your pet in a crate most of the time. Pet hotels put animal care needs at the top of the list and that list includes food and water and walks as well as companionship.* Do due diligence before you leave so that you can feel good about the choice of where you are leaving your pet.

Get more helpful animal care information including veterinary care from Ortega Animal Care Center where you can also find out about pet hotel options.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Comscore Media Metrix Canada has reported that Online Retailers in Canada have seen significant increase in traffic to their websites. In December 2005, 17.9 million shopped retail web sites, an increase of 13 percent over December 2004.

At the top of the list is eBay with 10.9 million visitors, an increase of 16 percent over December 2004. Amazon was next with 6.5 million, an increase of 21 percent.

Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Apple, Sears, and Walmart are among the retailers who all saw an increase in online retail sales.

Flowers and home furnishings purchases also showed big increases from a year ago.

Grab Your Authentic Football Jersey And Get Ready For Some Action. – A Complete How-to Guide by Mike F. PrinceAn all-time greatest family pastime is undoubtedly the NFL football. Just about every person, men, women and kids alike, Sundays and Monday nights take on a whole different meaning during football season. Friends and families lounge together in the living room, at times switching between several games. In addition, both local pubs and sports bars are filled jam-packed with cheering and jeering fans, and for those who are able to watch live, simply flock to the stadium to cheer their favorite team.Likewise the many things we enjoy and identify with, perhaps favorites bands or much-loved sports teams, are all part of our identities. As such, there is an enormous market for items of clothing that sport the names and colors of our favorite teams and players. Nowadays every dedicated fan can find everything from hats sweatpants, socks, tee-shirts and undergarments touting their NFL favorites. But without doubt, perhaps the most popular item of clothing for the football fan is the authentic football jersey. You will find jerseys in both styles – authentic and replica.So, do you know the difference between an authentic football jersey and a replica? In general, both versions will be embroidered with the player’s name. However the authentic ones have a mesh body as well as mesh sleeves, while replica jerseys have both bodies and sleeves made of nylon mesh.Another distinctive feature is that an authentic football jersey will also have an official NFL equipment logo. Though replica jerseys have at times a somewhat similar look and feel of an authentic football jersey, these subtle differences makes them more affordable. Sometimes, an authentic football jersey may include an autograph, or if you choose to order rather than buy one from a sporting goods store then it may come with a photo or with any sort of a collectible.Wearing one of these football jerseys would symbolize a hard core fan at one point of time. And despite the fact that loyal football fans will always be the biggest market for these and other football sportswear items and collectibles, interest in jerseys has been divided over the years. In fact the authentic football jersey is an item of fashion and style to many, in particular among the youth. Casual fans are now more likely to purchase authentic jerseys. Even though the market for the authentic football jersey has increased, fans at times have to wait for orders to be filled.Besides football, there are sport jerseys like hockey and basketball that are regularly seen being worn by fans; however the authentic football jersey is still perhaps the most popular sports-related article of clothing. For sure, there’s something about watching a nail-biter of a game while at the same time sporting a jersey with the name of your favorite player emblazoned across your back that makes you feel like part of the action. Besides football jerseys are just about as much a sign of the change of seasons as late summer dips in temperature and the first falling leaves of autumn.Mike F. Prince provides readers with up-to-date commentaries, articles, and reviews for sports, games as well as other related information.Article Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Evansville, Indiana, United States — This past week marked the opening night of an Andy Warhol exhibit at the University of Southern Indiana. USI’s art gallery, like 189 other educational galleries and museums around the country, is a recipient of a major Warhol donor program, and this program is cultivating new interest in Warhol’s photographic legacy. Wikinews reporters attended the opening and spoke to donors, exhibit organizers and patrons.

The USI art gallery celebrated the Thursday opening with its display of Warhol’s Polaroids, gelatin silver prints and several colored screen prints. USI’s exhibit, which is located in Evansville, Indiana, is to run from January 23 through March 9.

The McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries at USI bases its exhibit around roughly 100 Polaroids selected from its collection. The Polaroids were all donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, according to Kristen Wilkins, assistant professor of photography and curator of the exhibit. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts made two donations to USI Art Collections, in 2007 and a second recently.

Kathryn Waters, director of the gallery, expressed interest in further donations from the foundation in the future.

Since 2007 the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program has seeded university art galleries throughout the United States with over 28,000 Andy Warhol photographs and other artifacts. The program takes a decentralized approach to Warhol’s photography collection and encourages university art galleries to regularly disseminate and educate audiences about Warhol’s artistic vision, especially in the area of photography.

Contents

  • 1 University exhibits
  • 2 Superstars
  • 3 Warhol’s photographic legacy
  • 4 USI exhibit
  • 5 Sources

Wikinews provides additional video, audio and photographs so our readers may learn more.

Wilkins observed that the 2007 starting date of the donation program, which is part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, coincided with the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death in 1987. USI was not alone in receiving a donation.

K.C. Maurer, chief financial officer and treasurer at the Andy Warhol Foundation, said 500 institutions received the initial invitation and currently 190 universities have accepted one or more donations. Institutional recipients, said Mauer, are required to exhibit their donated Warhol photographs every ten years as one stipulation.

While USI is holding its exhibit, there are also Warhol Polaroid exhibits at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and an Edward Steichen and Andy Warhol exhibit at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. All have received Polaroids from the foundation.

University exhibits can reach out and attract large audiences. For example, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro saw attendance levels reach 11,000 visitors when it exhibited its Warhol collection in 2010, according to curator Elaine Gustafon. That exhibit was part of a collaboration combining the collections from Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which also were recipients of donated items from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.

Each collection donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program holds Polaroids of well-known celebrities. The successful UNC Greensboro exhibit included Polaroids of author Truman Capote and singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

“I think America’s obsession with celebrity culture is as strong today as it was when Warhol was living”, said Gustafon. “People are still intrigued by how stars live, dress and socialize, since it is so different from most people’s every day lives.”

Wilkins explained Warhol’s obsession with celebrities began when he first collected head shots as a kid and continued as a passion throughout his life. “He’s hanging out with the celebrities, and has kind of become the same sort of celebrity he was interested in documenting earlier in his career”, Wilkins said.

The exhibit at USI includes Polaroids of actor Dennis Hopper; musician Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran; publishers Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine and Carlo De Benedetti of Italy’s la Repubblica; disco club owner Steve Rubell of Studio 54; photographers Nat Finkelstein, Christopher Makos and Felice Quinto; and athletes Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis) and Jack Nicklaus (golf).

Wikinews observed the USI exhibit identifies and features Polaroids of fashion designer Halston, a former resident of Evansville.

University collections across the United States also include Polaroids of “unknowns” who have not yet had their fifteen minutes of fame. Cynthia Thompson, curator and director of exhibits at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said, “These images serve as documentation of people in his every day life and art — one which many of us enjoy a glimpse into.”

Warhol was close to important touchstones of the 1960s, including art, music, consumer culture, fashion, and celebrity worship, which were all buzzwords and images Wikinews observed at USI’s opening exhibit.

He was also an influential figure in the pop art movement. “Pop art was about what popular American culture really thought was important”, Kathryn Waters said. “That’s why he did the Campbell Soup cans or the Marilyn pictures, these iconic products of American culture whether they be in film, video or actually products we consumed. So even back in the sixties, he was very aware of this part of our culture. Which as we all know in 2014, has only increased probably a thousand fold.”

“I think everybody knows Andy Warhol’s name, even non-art people, that’s a name they might know because he was such a personality”, Water said.

Hilary Braysmith, USI associate professor of art history, said, “I think his photography is equally influential as his graphic works, his more famous pictures of Marilyn. In terms of the evolution of photography and experimentation, like painting on them or the celebrity fascination, I think he was really ground-breaking in that regard.”

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The Polaroid format is not what made Warhol famous, however, he is in the company of other well-known photographers who used the camera, such as Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, Walker Evans, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Helmut Newton.

Wilkins said, “[Warhol] liked the way photo booths and the Polaroid’s front flash looked”. She explained how Warhol’s adoption of the Polaroid camera revealed his process. According to Wilkins, Warhol was able to reproduce the Polaroid photograph and create an enlargement of it, which he then could use to commit the image to the silk screen medium by applying paint or manipulating them further. One of the silk screens exhibited at USI this time was the Annie Oakley screen print called “Cowboys and Indians” from 1987.

Wilkins also said Warhol was both an artist and a businessperson. “As a way to commercialize his work, he would make a blue Marilyn and a pink Marilyn and a yellow Marilyn, and then you could pick your favorite color and buy that. It was a very practical salesman approach to his work. He was very prolific but very business minded about that.”

“He wanted to be rich and famous and he made lots of choices to go that way”, Wilkins said.

It’s Warhol. He is a legend.

Kiara Perkins, a second year USI art major, admitted she was willing to skip class Thursday night to attend the opening exhibit but then circumstances allowed for her to attend the exhibit. Why did she so badly want to attend? “It’s Warhol. He is a legend.”

For Kevin Allton, a USI instructor in English, Warhol was also a legend. He said, “Andy Warhol was the center of the Zeitgeist for the 20th century and everything since. He is a post-modern diety.”

Allton said he had only seen the Silver Clouds installation before in film. The Silver Clouds installation were silver balloons blown up with helium, and those balloons filled one of the smaller rooms in the gallery. “I thought that in real life it was really kind of magical,” Allton said. “I smacked them around.”

Elements of the Zeitgeist were also playfully recreated on USI’s opening night. In her opening remarks for attendees, Waters pointed out those features to attendees, noting the touches of the Warhol Factory, or the studio where he worked, that were present around them. She pointed to the refreshment table with Campbell’s Soup served with “electric” Kool Aid and tables adorned with colorful gumball “pills”. The music in the background was from such bands as The Velvet Underground.

The big hit of the evening, Wikinews observed from the long line, was the Polaroid-room where attendees could wear a Warhol-like wig or don crazy glasses and have their own Polaroid taken. The Polaroids were ready in an instant and immediately displayed at the entry of the exhibit. Exhibit goers then became part of the very exhibit they had wanted to attend. In fact, many people Wikinews observed took out their mobiles as they left for the evening and used their own phone cameras to make one further record of the moment — a photo of a photo. Perhaps they had learned an important lesson from the Warhol exhibit that cultural events like these were ripe for use and reuse. We might even call these exit instant snap shots, the self selfie.

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Children enjoy interacting with the “Silver Clouds” at the Andy Warhol exhibit.Image: Snbehnke.

Kathryn Waters opens the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

At the Andy Warhol exhibit, hosts document all the names of attendees who have a sitting at the Polaroid booth.Image: Snbehnke.

Curator Kristin Wilkins shares with attendees the story behind his famous Polaroids.Image: Snbehnke.

A table decoration at the exhibit where the “pills” were represented by bubble gum.Image: Snbehnke.

Two women pose to get their picture taken with a Polaroid camera. Their instant pics will be hung on the wall.Image: Snbehnke.

Even adults enjoyed the “Silver Clouds” installation at the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

Many people from the area enjoyed Andy Warhol’s famous works at the exhibit at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

Katie Waters talks with a couple in the Silver Clouds area.Image: Snbehnke.

Many people showed up to the new Andy Warhol exhibit, which opened at USI.Image: Snbehnke.

At the exhibit there was food and beverages inspired to look like the 1960s.Image: Snbehnke.

A woman has the giggles while getting her Polaroid taken.Image: Snbehnke.

A man poses to get his picture taken by a Polaroid camera, with a white wig and a pair of sunglasses.Image: Snbehnke.

Finished product of the Polaroid camera film of many people wanting to dress up and celebrate Andy Warhol.Image: Snbehnke.