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Page 12 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 14, 2014 Ray Barron's 11 O'CLOCK NEW,9 Ah, Ellen DeGeneres! Well, according to the February 24 m edition of the National Enquirer, Ellen is terrified that her life will be cut short by deadly breast cancer! Sources told the Enquirer the beloved talk show host feels as if she's a ticking time bomb because her mom, grandmother and aunt have all had the dreaded disease and she fears that due to her family history she has to pack as much into her busy life as possible. She certainly looked great as a host of the Oscar Awards program. The number of cancer cases worldwide is expected to rise by 70 percent over the next 20 years, from a current rate of 14 million new cases per year to 25 million a year. The World Health Organization blamed the pre- dicted increase on the increasing use of to- bacco, alcohol and "highly processed foods" in countries with growing middle-classes. Let's move on! Youth participation in the four most popular U.S. team sports -- bas- ketball, soccer, baseball and football -- dropped by four percent from 2008 to 2012. The lure of social networks and technology may be drawing some kids and teens away from sports. Huh? Since 2008 Americans have left an estimated $44 billion unspent on gift cards from retailers, which can't consider the value stored on the cards to be revehue until it is spent on merchandise. According to Bella Culo of Chestnut Hill, among the most expensive gifts on earth is the gift of gab. Robyn Waters of Swampscott says "Money is an ideal gift -- everything else is too expensive!" The astute unofficial mayor of Medford, Tom Analetto, says, "The greatest gift we can bestow on others is a good example." Good move! CVS has dropped tobacco products. CVS is kicking the habit, said Phil Wahba and Julie Steenhuysen in Reuters.com. The drugstore chain said it would quit selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October, "becoming the first national drugstore chain in the United States to take cigarettes off the shelf." The move is expected to cost CVS -- the country's second largest drugstore chain -- roughly 82 billion in annual sales, but analysts say that loss will hardly figure in its projected revenue and may even "strengthen its position as a health-care provider" through its Caremark subsidiary. Do you know that CVS stands for? Con- sumer Value Store. Say goodbye to your RadioShack, said Emily Glazer in The Wall Street Journal. Sources say the electronics retailer is plan- ning to close around 500 of its 4,300 stores within the next few months. "The news was a cold dose of reality after the upbeat feel- ing generated" by RadioShack's Super Bowl ad, which "poked fun at its outdated image." RadioShack has been taking a new approach totransform "its image from an old-school electronics store into a destination for shop- pers looking for entertainment gadgets. .r Bravo! The recent punishing snowstorm In Birmingham, Alabama, wasn't enough to keep Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw from his duties. The 62-year-old neurosurgeon was working six miles away when Trinity Medical Center called to say that a patient there needed emergency brain surgery. Hrynkiw jumped in his car, but snarled traffic immobilized him. "I'm not getting anywhere in this," he told a Trinity nurse. "I'm walking." He trudged through snow for two hours, then performed a successful operation. The patient was bound to die without surgery, Hrynkiw said, "and that's not going to hap- pen on my shift." So, do you wish to know how the Demo- crats became known as the party of the don- key? It all started when Andrew Jackson ran for president in 1828 with the slogan "Let the people rule," and his opponents tried to label him a "jackass." Jackson, however, turned the tables on his "neigh'-sayers by using the donkey, representing his stub- bornness, on his campaign posters. The don- key symbol of the Democrat party was first used in a political cartoon in 1837 titled "A Modern Baalim and his Ass." Again the O O O symbol was ,, used in con- junction with Andrew Jackson. Even though he had left office by this time, he still thought of himself as the party's leader. He was shown in the cartoon trying to push the donkey where he wanted to go. Dumb Ass. Stay awake! Although lynching was popu- larized during the Old West, the practice actually started during the American Revo- lution. Colonel Charles Lynch, a justice of the peace and farmer before the war, led a group of vigilantes to dispense swift and final justice on British supporters and outlaws. Soon stringing someone up without a trial became known as "lynching," and the groups that performed the activity were called "lynch mobs." Still awake? In paintings, movies, and on TV, we're given the impression that wor- shipping the flag was something all devout Americans have done since the War of In- dependence, but that's not exactly the way it was. Schools were not required to fly the flag until 1890. Pledging allegiance to the flag wasn't instituted until 1892, and salut- ing the flag didn't happen until the Span- ish-American War in 1898. It wasn't until 1916 that Flag Day was observed as a na- tional holiday, and the flag code, the proper way to treat and dispose of flags, was not approved by Congress until 1942 and didn't become a federal law until 1976. For you dummies: In 1805 the United States Marine Band was created by President Thomas Jefferson, who recruited 14 Italian musicians led by Gaetano Carusi. The man who inspired Jefferson to recruit the Italian musicians was Philip Mazzei, a political activist and writer. It was Mazzei who helped create the Declaration of Independence and originated "all men are created equal." Italian American Business Leaders: Mr. Peanuts and Planters Peanut Company were created by Italian immigrants Amedeo Obici and Mario Peruzzi in 1887 in Penn- sylvania. By 1930 the partners had four huge factories and raked in over $12 mil- lion annually. Chef Boyardee, the name behind the nation's leading brand of ready- to-eat spaghetti dinners, pizza, sauce and pasta, was Ettore Boirdi, an Italian immi- grant, who began as a chefs apprentice at age 11 and eventually opened a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, and in the 1930s began selling his pasta and sauce in cans. During World War II, Chef Boyardee was the largest supplier of rations for the U.S. and Allied Forces. And Prince Company, a $200 mil- lion-a-year pasta manufacturing business, was established by Joaeph Pellegrino, who emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily at age 12. A former st{'eet hustler, Pellegrino only went to school through the eighth grade. His son, Joseph, Jr., and granddaughter both worked for Prince. Some wee bits about Italians in show busi- ness with the noted musicologist Albert Natale: The voice of Snow White in the first full-length animated film, released in 1937, belonged to Adriana Caselotti. One of Hollywood;s most gifted directors, Frank Capra was born in Sicily in 1897. A Chorus Line, one of Broadway's longest running shows, was choreographed by the late Michael Bennett, who was born Michael DeFiglia. Hollywood's first sex symbol of the silver screen was Rudolph Valentino, who was born Rodoilfo Guglielmi in Castellaneta, Italy, in 1895. The producer of all but one of the 17 James Bond movies was Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli. His ancestors developed and named the popular vegetable in Italy in the 19 ta century. And Hollywood's famous Walk of Fame holds nearly 400 stars imbed- ded in the pavement. The stars are created by Bill Paternostro, a terrazzo artist. He takes about two days to make a star, which is composed of thick, colored concrete with tiny marble chips and the name of the star, which is in brass. AMERICA IS l BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SFINGI "sfeen-gee" Fried Dough Treats 3 yeast packets (1/4 oz. each) 2-1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 115F) 2/3 cup vegetable oil FOR FRYING: 1 quart vegetable oil 3-1/2 cups flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional) 1 four-quart saucepan or deep fryer In a ten-inch bowl, mix yeast With lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve yeast. Add oil. Gradually add flour, cinnamon (optional), and salt, blending all ingredients to form a SOFT dough. Cover and let rise to double its size. Punch down and let rise again. Repeat two more times. FRYING: Heat oil in small deep fryer or saucepan until hot. With teaspoon, drop portions of mixture into hot oil. They will fall to bottom and rise slowly. Remove with slotted spoon when golden brown all over. Place in large bowl. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Serve hot or cooled. NOTE: Though this delightful treat was also served in many homes for Easter, I remember especially waiting to see Mama mix her dough at Christmas time. ZIO Nino and Zia Marianna's (Papa's uncle and aunt) top-floor apartment became a gather L ing place for relatives and friends on many holidays. What I remember most was seeing Zia Marianna, Mama and other women help to fry the Sftngi. The odor off riding dough was evident in the apartment and throughout the corridors of 39 Charter Street. My cousins and I served the hot, fried, sugared dough to guests arriving for supper. It became a special time after supper. The youngsters who had not fallen asleep after supper were welcomed to the round kitchen table again. "We joined our parents in the games of Lotto (Bingo) with the other guests. A display of fruit, nuts, Cannalicchi, Cassattedi, Sftngi, or Strufoli remained available for all co enjoy until we departed for home. Legally Speaking (Continued from Page 6) was "in all respects identi- cal" to its Massachusetts counterpart and that, as a result, the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute should be applied in federal court as well. I will explain reasons for Judge Gorton's opinion as well as the facts in the underlying dispute in greater detail in my next column. In conclusion, I want to emphasize that following Judge Gorton's opinion, it should be clear that litigants in the federal district ,court in Massachu- setts are now protected by our state's anti-SLAPP stat- ute and, if someone is ever sued for "petitioning" the government, they should be able to invoke the Massa- chusetts anti-SLAPP statute to get that lawsuit thrown out, and be awarded any attorney's fees as well. Richard J. Vita, Esq. is the principal of the Vita Law Offices, P.C., a Boston law firm focused on securities fraud, insurance and consumer class action cases. He may be contacted at (617) 426-6566 or by email at v@vitalaw.com. M From YBakery Perch VITA O[tI.ANDO INOPDt I 1st Generation Italian-American Vita Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a delightful 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 WWW.BOSTON POSTGAZETTE.COM