Ask SAM: Straight Answers

Q: I would like to know why CBS canceled “CSI: Miami,” “A Gifted Man” and “Unforgettable.” These were good programs compared to some they have. S.S. A: Those shows were canceled for the same reasons most shows get canceled: ratings and demographics. Shows with low ratings rarely get picked up and shows that don’t appeal to the key 18-49 group desired by many advertisers also have a hard time. “CSI: Miami” had a 10-season run and does well in syndication, but ratings had declined and the show was expensive to produce. In its 10th season, it averaged 9.85 million viewers and a 2.1 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, according to tvseriesfinale.com, which tracks the ratings of shows. CBS chose to renew the cheaper “CSI: NY” instead. Among the new shows, “A Gifted Man” — which co-starred Jennifer Ehle, a Winston-Salem native — got 8.57 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the key demo. “Unforgettable” had better numbers, with 11.3 million viewers and a 2.3 in the demo. ” ‘Unforgettable’ is basically a victim of CBS’ success,” according to a report at zap2it.com. “The network clearly thinks it can do better with a different show in the 10 p.m. Tuesday time slot.” Here is a list of shows that were canceled — or, in some cases, ended voluntarily — on each network by the end of the 2011-12 TV season. ABC: “Charlie’s Angels,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “GCB,” “Man Up,” “Missing,” “Pan Am,” “The River” and “Work It.” Also, “Cougar Town” was dropped by ABC but was picked up by cable channel TBS. CBS: “CSI: Miami,” “A Gifted Man,” “How to Be a Gentleman,” “NYC 22,” “Rob” and “Unforgettable.” CW: “H8r,” “One Tree Hill,” “Remodeled,” “Ringer” and “The Secret Circle.” Fox: “Alcatraz,” “Allen Gregory,” “Breaking In,” “The Finder,” “House,” “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Q’Viva” and “Terra Nova.” NBC: “Are You There, Chelsea?,” “Awake,” “Bent,” “Best Friends Forever,” “Chuck,” “Escape Routes,” “Fear Factor,” “The Firm,” “Free Agents,” “Harry’s Law,” “The Playboy Club,” “Prime Suspect,” “The Sing-Off,” “Who Do You Think You Are?,” “Who’s Still Standing?” There are fan campaigns online to save some of those shows — a petition to save “GCB” has gotten more than 55,000 signatures, for instance, and there are multiple sites devoted to efforts to save “Terra Nova.” Shredding A shredding event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon June 12 at Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 321 Redland Road in Advance. Personal papers and documents will be shredded on site for a suggested donation of $5 for each box or bag. The event is sponsored by the United Methodist Men and DataChambers. Proceeds will go to various mission projects. For more information, call (336) 998-3169.

Sprint launches new PTT Kyocera DuraXT phone; Sony teases new Xperia

Quick news from around the Web.@FierceWireless: RT @saschasegan: Main WWDC line. Goes all around the block. Remember the event isn't for 3.5 hours yet. Pic | Follow@FierceWireless> Samsung said it won't buy Nokia. Article> A tablet from Google was reportedly confirmed by an Asus executive. Article> Sprint Nextel launched the Kyocera DuraXT with its Direct Connect service. Post> Samsung's 50 GB promotion with Dropbox for Samsung's Galaxy S III won't be available in the United States. Article> LG's quad-core Optimux 4X HD hit Europe. Article> Nokia Siemens Networks joined the Global TD-LTE Initiative. Release> Sony is teasing a new Xperia phone. Article> Sequans Communications said it reached 150 Mbps on LTE. ReleaseMobile Content News> Sprint is reportedly planning to launch its own Near Field Communications-based mobile wallet as soon as this summer, calling into question the operator's continuing support for Google Wallet. Article> Apple reportedly is planning to add a tracking tool to its iOS software that lets developers track who is using their apps. ArticleBroadband Wireless News> The United Nations is pondering an Internet tax designed to make the largest Web content providers pay up for the privilege of serving non-U.S. customers. Article> PMC-Sierra is making its initial foray into the macro base station market with Unitrx, a three-device chipset that can replace 14 traditional base station components. Article > Sprint is a beneficiary of two new spectrum-sharing agreements with Mexico in that the operator will be allowed to deploy wireless service in 1.9 GHz spectrum along the border separating the United States and Mexico. ArticleEuropean Wireless News> Alcatel-Lucent faced a raucous annual shareholder meeting Friday, with investors questioning the company's turnaround strategy, its cash position and the direction of CEO Ben Verwaayen. Article> France Telecom and Iliad's Free Mobile reportedly have completed their negotiations for new SMS termination rates. ArticleAnd finally… A 68-year-old grandmother is planning a 30-hour gaming marathon for charity. Article

BostonHerald.com – Blogs: The Blitz» Blog Archive » Chad Ochocinco had a tough day

Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had a rough morning.Due to the CBA’s workout restrictions during OTAs, Ochocinco couldn’t hit the weight room at Gillette Stadium today, so he went to his backup plan. He was going to head to his favorite pancake mecca for breakfast before returning home to study.Well, those dreams were quickly shattered. Someone broke into Ochocinco’s Escalade, and the culprit allegedly stole his wallet, iPod, credit cards and license. Ochocinco provided some play-by-play on his Twitter account, and he listed the stolen belongings during a two-minute video clip.After the whole ordeal, though, Ochocinco was mostly broken up about the disappearance of his Starbucks gold card.“I earned the gold card,” Ochocinco said in the video. “You know how many coffees I’ve had to drink and lemon loafs I’ve had to purchase to get to that gold card? Like, I had $220 left on my Starbucks card. Not just any Starbucks card, but a gold Starbucks card.”The ordeal came to something of a happy ending, as one of Ochocinco’s Twitter followers tweeted that her mother found his wallet, which apparently still contained his credit cards and license. And Starbucks tweeted that they’ll send him a new gold card.Chalk up another victory for Twitter. This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 at 4:03 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Let's work to unite our community

As I was thinking about the events that are taking place in our community today I could not help myself. My heart was filled with a great deal of emotions. Today is Pentecost Sunday, Global Day of Prayer, combined Baccalaureate service for Culpeper and Eastern View High School. I have to stop here and say thank you to all the men and women who have labored tirelessly to bring about unity in our community. I am reminded of the day I walked in a building while a symphony was warming up and tuning their instruments. I have to tell you that the sound that was coming out of that room was “horrible”, everyone of them was doing there own thing. I couldn’t bear to go in the concert hall.  It was almost an hour later, first there was silence and then I heard a noise coming through the door. It was soft, calm and gentle. I followed the sound inside the building. The band looked elegant paying attention to the conductor who appeared to be confident and graceful. I was blown away by the performance. The harmony was so incredible. The orchestra played such heavenly music. The difference was that the orchestra was in one accord. No one was on their own anymore. They played together, the music was beautiful and the sound was just breathtaking. Just imagine if we as Christians harmonized together, we would make a difference in so many lives. Those musicians individually are talented musicians, but when playing on their own it’s a total chaos. When they chose to play in sync it was amazing. There is a law called “synergism”. This law states that when the joint actions of agents are brought together they increase each other’s effectiveness. There is a great importance for us to join together in unity in order to strengthen our community. It is very sad to see the law of synergy being utilized in the secular more effectively than in the Christian community. More and more I see businesses join together in order to be competitive and on the other hand I see more and more churches divide. The secular world is getting stronger and stronger because they choose to put their egos aside and unite while the church is getting weaker and weaker because they fail to unite due to egos. Remember, unity will work for none believers like it will work for believers. It is a law. I would like to encourage all of you to attend the Pentecost Services and Global Day of Prayer in the Yowell Meadow Park in Culpeper and also I would like to invite all of the Class of 2012, their families and friends to attend the Baccalaureate service that will be held in celebration of their upcoming graduation. We have chosen to invite the classes of both high schools in order to promote unity within our community as we celebrate together. The Baccalaureate service will be held today at 2 p.m. at Germanna Community College (Daniel Technology Center) located at 18121 Technology Drive, Culpeper. Class members should arrive by 1:30 p.m. in their caps and gowns. Refreshments will be served after the service. Kalenga pastors His Village church, coaches girls soccer at CCHS and is involved with Rize-Up Youth Ministries. E-mail

Another notch on the GFI scoreboard as alumni move into the big leagues

2012 Grand Forks International (GFI) All-Star pitcher, David Otterman, was drafted in the 7th round by the Milwaukee Brewers last week in the annual Major League first-year player draft. He was the second of 26 Canadians to be taken. And not much time was wasted in getting his professional career underway as he has already signed a contract.The big lefthander played 3 years at the University of .B.C and is from Coquitlam. His college coach, Terry McKaig said, “He now gets to realize his childhood dream of playing professional baseball”, and added, “A very exciting day for David and his family, and the UBC baseball program.” We can add to this that the GFI family is also proud and thrilled.The following day another UBC athlete and former GFI participant, Keaton Briscoe, was selected in the 24th round of the amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. Keaton played second base for the Thunderbirds. He is from North Vancouver and batted .318 in 100 career games in college.This brings to 19 the number of UBC players who have been taken in the Major League Draft since that baseball program was re-started in 1997.This was not the end of things for GFI alumni as two others went in last week’s amateur draft. Lewis Clark State’s Austin Pentecost, a senior right-hander, went in the 29th round and his teammate Luke Goodgion was grabbed in round 33 by the Tampa Bay Rays. Pentecost became the first LC State player to be drafted by the Chicago Cubs. The Lewis Clark State baseball program has now had at least one player drafted from all 30 of the current Major League franchises.“It feels good—kind of like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Pentecost said about being drafted. “I talked to a few scouts the night before and they were telling me that I’d probably get picked somewhere between 16-30, but I was really surprised by the Cubs because I hadn’t really talked to them all season.”Goodgion pitched a complete game shutout for the Lewiston Truckers in last year’s Grand Forks International while David Otterman also tossed 7 scoreless innings in a game for Team Canada. Fans in attendance last year, and in previous years, were privileged to watch them in Grand Forks first, along with Keaton Briscoe and Austin Pentecost; now they will display their talents in professional leagues around North America.  

The Pentecost sermon I preached at the Festival of Homiletics

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,11Cretans and Arabs — in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.-Acts 2A few years ago a local Lutheran church gifted House for All Sinners and Saints a full set of used paraments.  My church is like every other church’s little sister so we get a lot of hand me downs.  As a group of us went through these beautiful altar cloths we came finally to the red set and found one with an image of a descending dove with completely crazy eyes and claws that looked like talons. Yep.   It was as though the Holy Spirit was a raptor.  “Man, someone said. We can’t use this one it makes The Holy Spirit look dangerous.” That was some completely sound advise.I hear people describe Pentecost as the birthday of the church…which has always kind of smacked of oversentimentality to me.  Because it’s not exactly a quaint story.  It’s a dangerous one. The story opens with that small group of believers isolating themselves as the text says, all together in one place.   They were perhaps afraid of outsiders so they all stayed together. Had they actually known better they would have been afraid of not dispersing because what was about to happen would have freaked out even the bravest amongst us. They were in danger but not from outsiders – the danger they were in, as they sat all together in one place, was from a God who is about to crash the party and bring in everyone they were trying to avoid.Things got crazy then with the wind and voices and languages and fire and all that. It can feel like all the crazy stuff that happened that Pentecost day in first century Palestine bares little resemblance to what the church has become in  21st century America.  There were no organs or committees or vacation bible school.  At the so-called birth of the church there were no ushers handing the Parthians a bulletin.   The Medes didn’t have a bake sale after the service.   It can be hard to see any resemblance at all from how we started to what we have become.  ….Well, unless we look at the people.  In which case there is honestly no difference what so ever.See, we still have fear and isolation in the church. It’s called sectarianism.  So nothing’s changed there.  And those people who did the whole speaking in tongues thing …well, obviously they are the Pentecostals. And that long list of how many different nationalities showed up must have been added by the first UCC’er bragging about their multiculturalism.  Nothing’s changed there.  Then there were those who witnessed this powerful act of God…this Pente-chaos and, in an attempt at intellectualizing it, all they said was “well what does this mean?” So they were like, the first Lutherans.And the ones who said  “Those people are drunk” were perhaps some Evangelicals focused on the personal morality of others. So that’s not changed a whole lot.   Then finally there’s the nice but completely naive guy who says “O my gosh, there’s no way they can be drunk…it’s only 9 o clock in the morning”  So there we have what we like to call the Methodists.Nothing’s changed much.  People are people. There are the emotional ones, the judgemental one, the naïve ones, and of course the ones like myself who insist on categorizing and naming everyone as though people can be reduced to a label.  Honestly.So there we all are even from the beginning.  Flawed, smug, confused, embarrassed and embarrassing…in other words the very people to whom God sends the spirit. Because see, God hasn’t changed either. Just like that first Pentecost, God still crashes are parties and invites in the people we are trying to avoid. God still says yes to all our polite no thank yous.  This is what is actually so dangerous about the whole thing.  In which case, that red parament with the crazy taloned raptor dove is actually more apt of an image for the Holy Spirit than some soft focus hallmark card dove gently flying in a water color sky. Obviously when speaking of the Holy Spirit we have to revert to all these metaphors of comforter and dove and wind but the thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit….is not a metaphor.  Because she will mess you up.  Metaphors can’t do that.Because the Spirit, while called the comforter does not bring the warm chocolate chip cookies and a night-night story kind of comfort.  The Spirit brings the comfort of the truth – and if you’ve had any experience of the truth whatsoever you can testify that it’s not exactly cozy.It sure didn’t feel cozy to me last Summer when my congregation experienced a big demographic shift. Some churches might fear drag queens and homeless folks.  But All of the sudden last Summer, at House for All Sinners and Saints, we had middle aged people driving in from the suburbs.  People who wear Dockers and eat at Applebys. We were a special, DIY kind of church; we made art and sang a capella and we sat in the round.I started to resent that my precious little indie boutique of a church was turning into a 7-11 and I was terrified that the more edgy, marginalized people who we had always attracted would now come and see a bunch of people who looked like their parents and think wellthis obviously isn’t for me.So I called a church meeting for us to talk about the growth and demographic changes at House with the hopes that if the people who had been around House from the beginning just said who they are and what the church has always been about then the new people who really don’t belong there would self-select out realizing it’s really not meant for them.  And even while I was planning it, it felt really wrong. Exhibit C:  It’s painful to be a pastor when you’re really not that good of a Christian.Luckily before we were able to be “all together in one place” for that stupid idea of a meeting, the plan changed.  The plan changed because I underwent what I can only describe as a heart transplant.  This is what the prophet Ezekiel describes when God said to him; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. It didn’t feel like a removal though.  Removal is far too pleasant a word. My heart was ripped out.  When my own heart starts to feel bitter and judgy and hard, God says enough. And without anesthesia or a sterile environment God reaches in and rips out my heart of stone and replaces it (yet again) with a heart of flesh.  You’d think that with as often as this particular procedure happens to me I’d have, like a zip-lock or something installed in my chest for easier access but  apparently that’s not how it works.See, the heart transplant happened when I called my friend Russell who I expected to sympathize with me.  But Russell refused to cooperate.  Yeah. That sucks, he said. You guys are really good at “welcoming the stranger” when it’s a young transgender person.  But Nadia, sometimes “the stranger” looks like your mom and dad. I wanted to hold the phone out in front of me and yell You’re supposed to be my friend! before hanging up.But I couldn’t.  Because in that moment I could feel actual blood and love pumping through my body for what felt like the first time in weeks.  Russell spoke the truth.    And the truth set me free and that, my friends, is the work of the Holy Spirit.   And I’m here to tell you, it didn’t feel like a chocolate chip cookie or a night night story.See, if we as preachers really believe that the truth enters our ears as the preached Word…then we simply have to put ourselves in the position of having Truth spoken to us too because that’s how the Holy Spirit works.So when the meeting day finally arrived, I knew what really needed to happen. The new folks with the Dockers needed to tell us who they were and why they were there, so that the young people with the tattoos who’d been around since the beginning could hear what this church was actually about.I sucked it up and I told them that horrible thing Russell had said to me about welcoming your parents.Then Asher speaks up and says As the young transgender kid who was welcomed into this community, I just want to go on the record as saying that I’m really glad there are people at church now who look like my mom and dad.  Because I have a relationship with them that I just can’t with my own parents.There we all were: flawed, smug, confused, embarrassed and embarrassing…in other words the very people to whom God sends the spirit to mess everything up. The very people God loves enough to send that crazed bird with bared talons and a predatory beak to come and snatch out our stony hearts and replace them with the comfort of God’s own.Because God hasn’t changed. Just like that first Pentecost God still says yes to all our polite no thank yous.  God still crashes our parties and invites in the people we are trying to avoid. That’s the thing about the Pentecost Spirit of truth: it feels like the truth might crush us. And that is right.  The truth crushes us, but the instant it crushes us it put us back together into something real.  Perhaps for the first time.Because the radical and mysterious and dangerous thing the Spirit does has always been to form us into the Body of Christ. Sometimes despite us, sometimes against us, but always for us. Because it is only the Spirit who can turn us from a “they” into a “we”.Amen. Post Script:We are stronger now as a church.  Now you can look around on any given Sunday and think I am unclear what all these people have in common. Because in one corner of your eye is a homeless guy serving communion to a corporate lawyer and out of the corner of the other is a teenage girl with pink hair holding the baby of a suburban soccer mom.  And there I was a year ago fearing that the weirdness of our church was going to be diluted.

The Tony Awards dress rehearsal caught many stars looking and acting casual – NYPOST.com

Cindy Adams The Tonys. When you watched on TV the stars looked tony themselves. When I saw them at dress rehearsal — not.Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book for “Newsies,” isn’t hot on wardrobe. This talent, who keeps his Tonys “on a shelf in my bathroom,” looked like an unmade bed. Beige shorts. Trust me, not custom-made from Tom Ford. Short-sleeved black-and-white Hawaiian shirt they’d diss even in Waikiki. Red backpack. Purple sneakers. “Got ’em on eBay for $60,” he grinned. Yeah, like no kidding. Edna Turnblad of “Hairspray” was better dressed.Equalling John Larroquette (“The Best Man”), whose right arm is in a cast, Norbert Leo Butz’s left leg was in a cast. Cracked Norbert: “Don’t anyone adjust the mike. Union tekkies don’t like when you play with their junk.” Offstage, host Neil Patrick Harris surreptitiously adjusted his collar and schlepped up drawers, which might’ve fallen victim to an onstage quick change.Nick Jonas, in crisply ironed shirt as good-looking as he is, walked behind his unarmed posse.Ellen Barkin sported horn-rimmed spectacles.My longtime friend James Earl Jones was excited at seeing me. His exact greeting? “Oh, s – -t.”Amanda Seyfried: “Who knows why I’m here? No idea why they picked me. It’s scary. I’m out of the loop. I just learned I’m doing this two days ago. I haven’t seen one show. I’m presenting musical nominees. Two are from ‘Porgy and Bess.’ I never saw ‘Porgy and Bess.’ I have an apartment here, but I’m never in town. I was in London filming last night, and tomorrow it’s home to LA because I miss Finn, my Australian shepherd. At least I have my loaned gown. Givenchy fitted it in London. I’ll never wear the thing again.”In the backstage elevator an assistant was talking to Tracie Bennett who does Judy Garland in “End of the Rainbow”: “I told them, ‘Bring up your track and get rid of your live voice.’ ”Cote de Pablo was a presenter. Her seat was front-row. Singer Kelli O’Hara was a nominee. Her seat was sixth row.Bernadette Peters in yellow dress with blue flowers, blue sweater, beige sandals and purple toenail polish: “I’ve got two Tonys. One for each hand. But tonight I’m getting the special Isabelle Stevenson Award.” I didn’t ask specifically what that is. I did ask specifically what’s with her hair. Said Bernadette: “It’s wet. When it dries out I plan to comb it out.”Angela Lansbury’s elegant jacket featured a large badge imprinted with her name. Like in case we’d have mistaken her for Jessica Chastain, whose rehearsal clothes were gold-spangled spike heels and a skirt shorter than Angela’s badge.Backstage was in next door’s Beacon Hotel. Its Green Room had snacks. Scones, apple muffins, bacon and potato quiche, a dish of brioche. Want a BLT or a tuna melt — forget it. The gift room was alongside. The Tonys, a New York event about New York with an art form that shouts New York, had a gift room operated by a California outfit.On a stool, studying a hand mirror, wearing a backwards baseball cap that read “South Dakota,” Mandy Patinkin said: “Please . . . I’m getting my swag. I love doing the Tonys. Most time my awards live in a box in my garage. I just moved them onto a shelf at home.” Back to the hand mirror and trying on glasses. His gray beard quivered when he added: “I want a pair that makes me look 30.”At the gift counter advertising Bora Bora, Patti LuPone. Her fun cotton shirt was black-and-white newsprint. “I got it on the north side of West 72nd, a place run by some kooky women. And I’m checking this Bora Bora stuff because I always wanted to go there.” And her Tonys? “In my barn.”One kiosk was pushing Men’s Wearhouse. I thought of Harvey Fierstein.Handsome Matthew Morrison of “Glee”: “This isn’t my first Tonys experience. In 2005, I was nominated for ‘Light in the Piazza.’ Notice I said ‘nominated.’ If I’d won, I would have mentioned that.” Meantime he mentioned “ ‘Glee’ is a 14-to-16-hour-a-day routine. No time for personal life unless you grab a little weekends. But I’m grateful for the job. It’s nice work if you can get it, which happens to be the name of the musical I’m presenting.”The rehearsal crew announced producer Emanuel Azenberg’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Putting on plays since before Shakespeare, Azenberg’s white, Jewish and senior. The young black guy standing in for him said: “Thank you for this award. I deserve it and am so humbled.” We all broke up.Dress rehearsal’s big hit was James Corden, who might make “One Man, Two Guvnors” better than an hour and a half with Angelina Jolie. Despite his chunk, he rolled around, banged his head with an ashcan, somersaulted, screamed, shouted, sang, joked, sweated, slid, fell down, tripped, flopped — all in 2 1/4 minutes. The man’s hilarious, even though if he walks down any block his girth makes it a one-way street.Dashing out of the Beacon Theatre as Paul Rudd wandered by, I ran into Ben Vereen coming in. He said: “July 10 I’m in Studio 54 downstairs. New show. I’m trying it out in San Francisco and Australia.” Australia? “Yeah. You know why? Because they asked me.”Follow @PageSix

PARAMORE: Auburn shooting a sad situation

Unless you’ve been living in a cave the last few days, you know three young people lost their lives Saturday night at an apartment complex during a party in the shadow of Auburn University’s normally-serene campus. There is one key to the above statement. The people who lost their lives were barely old enough to vote in some cases. The fact that a pair of them were football players is secondary to the case, but pertinent nevertheless. Why? Because the incident has turned into a national story. Sunday evening, it was either the lead or the second story mentioned on all three major networks which produce newscasts in the prime-time slot. Sadly, if this were  just a shooting that involved students who had no connections to the 2010 national championship team, it would likely be a national footnote. The life of Loachapoka resident Demario Pitts is not any less valuable, nor is that of John Robertson, who at press time for this column was still in critical condition at a Birmingham hospital. Three others, including current player Eric Mack, were hit by gunfire, but didn’t suffer life-threatening wounds. Ed Christian, a former offensive lineman on medical leave from the team, and ex-fullback Ladarious Phillips lost their lives. Christian was called a gentle “peace-maker” by his high school coach, while Phillips was due to arrive in tranquil Jacksonville in July, where he planned to finish his career under former Pat Dye assistant coach Jack Crowe. Late Sunday, Crowe said Phillips was supposed to be at Jax State in June, but chose to finish one more semester at Auburn. He never got the chance. Unfair as it may be, the tragedies now link Auburn to a degree with other campuses where horrific events have occurred. No, it wasn’t dozens of deaths like the Virginia Tech massacre, and the alleged shooter isn’t a student. But horrific is horrific, and Auburn’s name is linked with a life-altering incident for at least the immediate future. I spoke at length Monday with Dothan native and former Auburn quarterback and baseball star Gabe Gross about what transpired. “It’s just not the kind of thing that goes on at Auburn,” he said. “I live about five minutes from where it happened, and I’m sitting there watching Fox News Sunday morning when they came on with the story. It’s awful, and everyone is in shock here.” Reportedly, a fight started at a pool party over a woman all the involved parties apparently knew, then escalated from a bottle-throwing donnybrook into a full-fledged fight. One eye witness said everyone was simply standing around talking before “a massacre” took place. As Gross said, caution is a key. “You’ve got to look around, see who’s there, what’s happening,” he said. “But this is a small, rural school, not in a big city where you can control who comes and goes easier. People are always coming to visit, to stay with friends.” Auburn officials, including head coach Gene Chizik, athletic director Jay Jacobs and president Jay Gouge all expressed sorrow at the happenings and the school offered free counseling to anyone who felt they needed it. Just as Tiger faithful stepped up to the plate when lives were lost in Tuscaloosa due to the tornado last April, Alabama fans have expressed their condolences and support for the Auburn family in the last few days. And that is good, to be commended. What’s not are senseless crimes that cut short the lives of people whose journey was just beginning. And sorry just doesn’t seem to be enough right now. Divine intervention is what is needed most now. For the victims and their grieving families, may it have already arrived, and be very real. Phil Paramore’s column appears Tuesday in The Dothan Eagle. He can be heard weekday afternoons from noon until 2 on AM 560, 100.1 FM or at woofradio.com . He can be reached at the same website.

LA Kings Win First Stanley Cup In Franchise History

LOS ANGELES (CBS) –The Los Angeles Kings have completed one of the most improbable playoff runs in NHL history, beating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 to capture their first Stanley Cup in team history.The 45-year-old franchise becomes the lowest seed (8)  ever to capture Lord Stanley’s Cup, and they did it in front of a raucous Staples Center crowd, who saw the Kings jump on  Martin Brodeur and the Devils with three goals in the opening period.Gallery: Game 6 All three of those goals came on a five-minute power play after New Jersey’s Steve Barnier got a game misconduct for boarding Rob Scuderi.New Jersey was trying to become the first team since Toronto in 1942 to erase  a 3-0 series deficit and win the Stanley Cup.After struggling for most of the season, the Kings earned the final spot in the postseason and caught fire at the right time, dispatching the top-three seeds from the Western Conference before drawing the Devils in the Stanley Cup Final.“The belief was always there, it showed through the final 20 games of the regular season and it showed through the playoffs.” Anze Kopitar said. ” It feels great to be a champion.”Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the player most valuable to his team in the playoffs.Sutter Gets Name On The Cup      Parade Info(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

milk and cake: green acres

Jooliesaid…Wow, those radishes! Sounds like you're doing it right–starting modestly but experimenting too. More garden posts as the summer wears on, ja?10:20 PMSpacebeersaid…Now that we have a yard, I definitely want to try growing things, but I'm worried because I'm not generally good with houseplants, and outdoor plants seem even more complicated. Maybe I will just start with a pot with some basil in it or something and go from there. Oh, and what was the carrot seed tip?6:03 AMamandasaid…definitely more posts! i'm really loving the garden. going out there, watering in the morning and afternoon on hot days, checking the progress, even weeding is fun. and kristy, D's awesome trick was this; you take a piece of paper, fold it in half long-wise, and use that to gently shake the seeds into the row you've prepared. he showed me this thing you do where you very slightly tip the paper, using one hand to hold it at the top (the open part) and the other to gently urge the seeds down by rubbing the paper between your fingers. it's hard to explain, but even just using the longer piece of paper will slow the seeds down! when you sprinkle them from the pouch, they like to come out all at once, and then they are hard to separate out from the soil.7:22 PMSpacebeersaid…That makes so much sense!6:07 AM