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January 6, 2012     Post-Gazette
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January 6, 2012

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I/LTO) t , &apos;. ,. ,-, ..... , THE ITALIAN-AMER/CAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS T (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 116 - NO. 1 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, JANUARY 6, 2012 $.30 A COPY Join for City'east- Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes Dear Friends and Neighbors, It's that time again and CityFeast is right around the corner. I am so proud to say this is our 7 a year for CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes and with your support and dedication we have raised a total of just over $135,000.00! We plan to make this year's event the most memorable and beneficial event yet. First of all I would like to say 'l'hank You" to the participating restaurants: Lucca, Taranta, Tresca, and Caffd Graffiti for all your help and support over the years. We could not have done it without you and I look forward to working with you again this year! I began CityFeast to raise money for the doslin Diabetes Center High Hopes Fund to find a cure for diabetes. As you know this cause is very near and dear to my heart. Your participation in this year's very special event supports criti- cal diabetes care, research and education. Your involve- ment and commitment to this event has truly made a difference. CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes-to benefit The High Hopes Fund at Joslin Diabetes Center will be held here in the North End, on Sunday, January 29, 2012. This exclusive event will help doslin continue to impact the many lives of people with diabetes like my son David. As always, I will be hosting the event at my two res- taurants, Terramia and Antico Forno. It is my way of thank- ing and supporting the institution that cared for my son David for the last 20 years that he has had Type 1 Diabetes. On his first birthday, my son David was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Now at age 21, he continues to live with the ups and downs of this disease during these early years of adulthood. If I were to calculate how many shots and fin- ger sticks my son David already has had in his 20 years (Continued on Page 6) Arabs Condemn Newt's Palestine Remark Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich called Palestinians an "invented people." Newt said it was time for the harsh truth and not more politi- cal correctness. Gingrich believes that Palestinians are nothing more than Syrians or Jordanians with- out any distinct national history. However, he does support the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace settlement with Israel. He is being called racist in the Arab world but there's much truth in his politically incorrect statement. There have al- ways been Palestinians but these people were both Jewish and Arabic. I think what Gingrich was try- ing to say badly was that there has never been an Arab State of Palestine. Jesus Isn't a Public Defender We all hear about prisoners "finding Jesus" behind bars but the town of Bay Minette, Alabama is now allowing non-violent offenders, a choice of going to church on Sundays to avoid jail time. This new program began this past September and many found guilty of misdemeanors have now found God at least for one year under this county program. The police chief in that town says it both saves money and puts folks on the right path. The ACLU in Alabama says the whole idea is "blatantly un- constitutional" and I tend to agree with them on (Continued on Page 6) [ Boston Celebrates First Night 2012 (See additional photos on Page 7) (Photo by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photography) Befana Knows You Don't Need to be Pretty to be Sweet by Nicola Orichuia Before Santa Claus became everyone's favorite gift-giver, tum-,( bling down chimney shoots to stack gifts under lit-up trees, Italian I children would receive gifts ex- . clusively from "la Befana." Ev-' ery year, on the eve of January  !. _ 6, the old hunchbacked lady  would quietly go from door to ,..f door to bring gifts, candy and `= chocolates to all children who had been good. The other kids, the naughty ones, would re- ceive a lump of coal. All of it, candy or coal, would be stuffed in a stocking and left next to the children's beds. Talk about a sweet awakening. Nowadays, the Befana tradition is still strong in Italy, where she is celebrated every year on January 6, which in Chris- tian tradition is the day of Epiphany, when the three kings found the barn in which Baby Jesus was born. The old lady has become a little less popular, given Old Saint Nick's rise to fame, but children still adore her for bringing some sweetness to the last day of the Italian holiday season. The Befana tradition dates back centuries and its origin is still veiled in mystery, just like her whereabouts. But everyone knows what she looks like: old, grumpy-faced, her hair never combed and tucked underneath a scarf tied around her head. She wears a wide black gown, pointy boots and her clothes are covered with patches. She never smiles, but if she did, she'd probably have very few teeth to show off. Her nose is big, long, pointy and rugged. In other words, she most likely wouldn't win a beauty pageant. Despite all this, kids in Italy love her. All across the country there are festivals celebrating her magical gift-giving powers. Families in Rome head down to Piazza Navona, in the capital's historic center, where booths selling candy or little Befana k  , puppets are set up. On ghe night of ' January 5, just hours before the '- Befana goes from door to door to drop ,J off her treats, the square is so crowded  it would probably take all night to m-- = cross. Everyone wants to catch "  ----" a glimpse of the old lady, who 'r ' is probably staring at the crowd from a roof somewhere around the square. Little kids jump up and down in excitement, and some even swear they heard her cackling laugh in the chilly winter breeze. Every region pays its respects to the Befana, who despite the age never misses her appointment with children. Perhaps the best place to catch a glimpse of Italians' love for the Befana is Urbania, a small medieval town in the central Marche region. An annual five-day festival takes place here, with live music, parades and never-ending streams of candy. The Befana puts on a per- sonal show each day of the festival, flying 120 feet down a bell tower (with the aid of a rope), until she lands right in the middle of the town's central square. There are also a few sayings tied to this tradition. The most famous one comes in the form of a rhyming song: *La Befana vien di notte, con le scarpe tutte rotte, con le toppe alla sottana. Viva, viva la BefanaI" (The Befana comes at night, with her shoes all broken, with patches all over her gown. Hurray, hurray for the BefanaI) Then there is the saying that officially marks the end of the holidays: "L'Epifania tutte le feste si porta via." (The Epiphany takes with it all the holidays.) This year, like every year, the Befana came and went once again, and Italian children are bustling back to school, happily chomping on the candy she so kindly left at their bedside the day before. THE POST-GAZEI"rE SATELLITE OFFICE IS NOW OPEN AT 35 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON This office is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 3.<X) PM and Thursdays from I1:00 AM to 2.X) PM, for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 617-227-8920 for more information ]