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Page 12 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 20, 2012 Ray Barron's 11 O'CLOCK NEWS Heavy newsT The U.S. Coast Guard has reduced the passenger capacity of U.S. com- mercial vessels to reflect the growing weight of the average American. A boat's capacity used to be based on an assumed average of 160 pounds per passenger, but that's been raised to 185 pounds. Florida pleasure-boat passenger David Kushner said he approved of the change. "Oh, God, yeah," said Kushner. "I'm 225 with sandals." A California woman is suing Starbucks, claiming employees insisted she buy some- thing before she could use the restroom to fix her prosthetic leg. Janet Marx says her leg was about to fall off because of a loose screw, but a barista wouldn't let her enter the restroom, and told her she "couldn't be nice" to anyone who hadn't made a purchase. Cell phone ban for drivers: Citing evidence that a growing number of gruesome crashes have been caused by distracted drivers using cell phones and electronic devices, the National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend a ban on the use of all mobile devices. Will it happen? Stay tuned! Weird! AI-Jawf, Saudi Arabia: A Saudi woman was beheaded for practicing "witch- craft and sorcery," the Interior Ministry said. Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser, who was said to be in her 60s, was charged with tricking people into believing she could cure their illnesses. She is the second per- son to be executed for witchcraft this year. In September, a Sudanese man was publicly decapitated with a sword for the same crime. According to Amnesty International, at least 79 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, more than three times as many as last year. Jessica Simpson is making her pregnancy pay, said the New York Post. The singer and fashion designer, 311 signed a $3 million deal with Weight Watchers to become a spokes- person for the company after she gives birth. "After having her baby, she'll start with Weight Watchers to lose her baby weight," said a source behind the upcoming campaign. Huh? Federal prisons hold 362 inmates convicted of terrorism, including 269 with connections to international terrorist groups. By comparison, only 171 detainees remain in Guantanamo. Deadly news! Cremation is now chosen over burial in 41 percent of American deaths, up from 15 percent in 1985. The increase is being driven partly by a desire to save on funeral expenses, since a typical cremation costs about $1,500, while a tradi- tional casket, wake, and burial usually exceed $I0,000. So reported The New York Times. Come February 6, we will be thinking of a popular Italian American singer, Frank Loveecchio, better known as Frankie Laine. Frankie Laine, the pop singer who became the unofficial troubadour in TV and movie Westerns died of heart failure. He was 93. Laine sold more than 100 million records and earned more than 20 gold records. "He will be forever remembered for the beauti- ful music he brought into this world, his wit and sense of humor, along with the love he shared with so many," Laine's family said in a statement. His memorable songs: "That's My Desire," "Mule Train," "Jezebel," and "That Lucky Old Sun." Poll watch: 39% of Americans say the U.S. should deport some illegal immigrants, but allow those who've been here for many years to stay if they haven't broken other laws. 28% say all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay, but only if they break no other laws and commit to learning English and U.S. history. 25% say all illegal immigrants should be deported. So reported The National Journal. For know-it-alls! The ten most populated states in the U.S. are ... California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey and North Carolina. Massachusetts ranks 13 on the list. In 1990, Massachusetts had a population of 6,016,425. And the five most crowded states are: Dis- trict of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Wait! More stuff for know- it-alls! Top five churches with the most mem- O O O bership in the U.S., Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist, United Methodist, Muslims and National Baptist Convention. Some countries with the most divorces: First is Maldives, followed by Liechtenstein, Peru, U.S., Puerto Rico, Bermuda, East Germany, Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom/England. Another poll taken by CBS News claims 54% say that President Obama has not done his job well enough to deserve re-election. Hey! Calm down! President Obama is truly doing his best for all Americans! The hardest-working actor in Hollywood, Harry Morgan, has passed away. Born in 1915, Harry Morgan will always be remem- bered as Col. Sherman T. Potter, commander of the 4077 th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H) unit in Korea. Morgan was born Harry Bratsburg in Detroit, where his Nor- wegian father worked in the auto industry. He left high school with dreams of becoming a lawyer, but after taking debating classes at the University of Chicago, he changed his Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando 5inopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED LENTIL SOUl" I cup lentils 4 cups of water 1 medium onion chopped 1 cups chopped carrots {optional) 1 cups diced Celery (optional) 1 clove garlic (optional)* 2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil I cup small shells or elbow macaroni Wash lentils. Combine first five ingredients in a two-quart saucepan. Add chopped carrots and diced celery (optional). Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to prevent boiling over. Stir frequently. Add more liquid as needed. Salt to taste. Oil is added just before lentils are fully cooked. Cooking time about 40 minutes. *For a different flavor, add one clove of chopped garlic to lentils while cooking. Follow directions on package to cook pasta of choice. Add lentils to cooked pasta and serve. Lentil soup freezes well. Serves two. NOTE: My love for Lentil Soup came early in life. Whether Mama added carrots and onions or not, I waited for the Ditalini pasta to be served with the lentils. Sometimes, Mama preferred to serve the small elbow pasta with this soup. At times she served us the lentils with thin spaghetti that she cut up into one-inch pieces before cooking. Now I find myself also varying the pasta for this meal. mind and plunged into the theater. Assum- ing the name Morgan -- which he found more mellifluous than Bratsburg -- he joined carl bereachedatvoswriting@cocast.net .... a repertory company in Westport, CT. As they .............  : say, the rest is history. ScornatoI A man reeking of gasoline entered a police station and told a tale of revenge and unpaid debts, implicating him- self in the brutal death of a woman who was set afire in an elevator in her apartment building. Jerome Isaac, 47, was quickly arrested on murder and arson charges in the death of 73-year-old Deloris Gillespie, an act of violence that shocked even veteran New York detectives. Isaac, who is being held without bail, was caught on two surveillance cameras confronting Gillespie in the eleva- tor and deliberately soaking her with gaso- line while she cowered in the corner. He then lit a Molotov cocktail and tossed it into the elevator, incinerating the mother of four, for whom he'd done odd jobs. "I know this is the defendant's first offense, but the depravity of this one single act is beyond my description," said Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Taub. Marriage is rapidly becoming obsolete for half of our society, said Ruth Marcus. Only 51 percent of Americans over the age of 18 are now married, compared with almost 75 percent 50 years ago. Marriage remains popular among the "better-off and better-edu- cated," but the working class and the poor are now choosing to cohabit -- often in a series of troubled, short-term relationships. Two-thirds of the kids born to unmarried parents see them split up, and the kids raised in these chaotic homes also fail to get good educations and to marry as adults. Some interesting show biz stuffs from the stately musicologist Albert Natale. Henry Winkler's role of Fonzarelli was not in the original pilot of the popular television series "Happy Days." Later, the script called for Fonz to wear a cloth coat and loafers, but Henry made the suggestion he wear the leather jacket and boots. The first time Mae West appeared in vaudeville, she was dressed in a tuxedo and appeared as a man. The Four Lads were the backing singing group behind Johnny Ray in his 2-sided mega-hit "Cry" and "Little White Cloud That Cried" in 1951. Judy Garland's real name was Frances Gumm. The name of Garland was given by entertainer George Jessel. One of the count- less highlights in her career was when she sang "You Made Me Love You" to a picture of Clark Gable in the film "Broadway Melody of '38." Singer Georgia Gibbs real name is Fredda Gibson. And our paesano, pianist Carmen Cavallaro played the soundtrack piano for Tyrone Power in the 1956 film "The Eddie Duchin Story." Carmen's biggest hit was a pop version of "Chopin's Polonaise" in 1945. AMERICA IS l BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME Thinking Out Loud (Continued from Page 4) Mitt Romney is as Newt Gingrich infers a phony con- servative. He is no conser- vative and he won't be get- ting my vote if he runs against Obama. Lately, Rick Santorum has been catching my eye, especially when he under- stands and articulates my position that when society starts to crumble, govern- ment always grows. He has meshed social conservatism with fiscal conservative poli- cies and is better suited as President Obama's social and fiscal ideology opponent. The differences are distinct. There is one position sup- porting one thing and an- other position supporting the opposite view. The American people would actually be given a clear choice be- tween competing philoso- phies. Even Newt Gingrich would be better than Mitt but his personal issues are still a barrier to me. If by next November, the choice is the failed policies of Barack Obama or the phoniness of Mitt Romney, America loses out again. America will sink deeper into debt and continued inaction. Where are all the topnotch candidates of yesteryear when highly qualified candidates ran for president? This year's Republican crew, for the most part, have been the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Is it too late for another strong Republican to jump into this race? Who knows but it would be most difficult in today's political world for this to happen. r M Fro YBakery Perch :/ ;II'A OILAN|)(. SINOPt,I | 1st Generation Italian-American Vita Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a deligh(ful recollection of her memories as a child growing up in Boston's "Little Italy" and a collection of Italian family recipes from the homeland. Great as Gifts FROM MY BAKERY PERCH available on AMAZON.COM and in local bookstores -- ask for Hard cover #1-4010-9805-3 ISBN Soft Cover #1-4010-9804-5 ISBN