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August 5, 2011     Post-Gazette
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August 5, 2011

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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 5, 2011 OUR CHILDREN 60 TO BED HUNGRY While We Station Our Soldiers in 135 Countries and We Give Billions in Foreign Aid to Foreign Countries by Attorney David J. Saliba I watched 60 minutes re- cently. The story was about homeless kids in the United States. The story estimated that poverty rate for kids will soon hit 25%. It revealed that some families live and sleep in their cars. Some of the families brush their teeth and clean themselves in the Walmart restrooms. A ma- jority of these kids go to bed hungry. We give substantial money to foreign countries. We spend billions sending out troops all over the world. The U.S. Armed Forces are stationed in 135 countries at a cost of 533.8 billion per year. The amount of foreign aid according to U.S. foreign aid summary, we gave in the year 2010, $3,175 billion to Israel, $1,550 billion to Egypt, $561 million to Columbia, $458 million to Jordan and 8734 million to Pakistan. We also gave $13 million to other countries, totaling another billion. This is a disgrace. Our kids go to Walmart, McDonalds and Burger King to clean up. What is wrong with our Congressmen and Senators? We bomb Libya because we don't want their civilians hurt while we let our families suffer. Bring our troops home. Stop for- eign aid. Provide food and liv- ing accommodations to Americans. If we stop the wars, stop foreign aid and bring our soldiers home the United States will afford to give every kid in America lobsters, shrimp, caviar and filet mignon all day, every day and we would still have surplus in our treasury. How to Stretch Your Gas Dollars this Summer Gasoline prices have risen well above $4.00 a gallon in most every state across the country. The average U.S. fam- ily with two drivers is now paying nearly $1,000 more an- nually for gas than they were just two years ago according to a recent study by research gurus, Sperling's BestPlaces. Although there are practical steps you can take to increase gas mileage, Better Business Bureau warns consumers to be wary of gas-saving claims that empty your wallet instead of saving you fuel. Many websites make unbelievable claims for various aftermarket automotive devices (fuel-line magnets, air bleed devices and retrofit gadgets) and oil and gasoline additives that supposedly increase gas mileage for automo- biles. The Federal Trade Commission found many of these claims to be either false or overly exaggerated. "Summer travelers should shop around. Nowadays, many smart phones have apps specifically for finding the cheap- est gas prices in your area," said Paula Fleming, vice presi- dent of communications and marketing for the local BBB. "You may even want to consider getting a credit card that gives you cash back bonuses on gas purchases." Before adding any fuel savings device to your vehicle, check with your mechanic. You may end up with a voided manufacturer's warranty and serious engine problems by adding after market devices to your engine. What you spend at the pump is influenced by how you drive and what type of gasoline you use to fill your tank. As we reach the peak of summer travel, here are some tips on what you can do to save fuel consumption: Choose the right octane for your car. Check your owner's manual to find out what octane your car requires. Keep in mind that the higher the octane, the higher the price. Keep your engine tuned. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent depending on a car's condition. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner's manual; you will save fuel and your car will run better and last longer. Don't let your engine run at idle any longer than nec- essary. An engine actually warms up faster while driving. With most gasoline engines, it is more efficient to turn off the engine than to idle for any period longer than 30 seconds. Drive more efficiently. Stay within the posted speed lim- its. The faster you drive the more fuel you use. Set your cruise control on highway trips. This can help maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel con- sumption. Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Automo- bile manufacturers must place a label in the car stating the correct tire pressure. If the label lists a psi (pounds per square inch) range, use the higher number to maximize your fuel efficiency. Anticipate the driving condition. Driving smoothly and steadily makes the best use of your fuel. If you can, avoid sudden acceleration or braking. Change your oil and replace air filters regularly. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine. Your air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. For more consumer tips you can trust, visit bbb-news. NEAA TEAM Ralph DeMarco Shown in photo, along with the team players, is RoRo DeMarco and Diane DeMarco representing the entire DeMarco Family. For the third year in a row, the DeMarco Family has sponsored the NEAA's entry in the Suburban Youth Baseball League. Named in memory of their dad, Ralph DeMarco, who was a life long NEAA mem- ber, coach and mentor for many years for the youth of the North End. The team is coached by John Pezzuto, Chris Marchi and David Wolfe. RoRo DeMarco throws out the first pitch. Mangiare, Mangiare, Mangiare by James DiPrima Pasta. What is it about pasta that can trigger sweet memories? Maybe it was a dish of spaghetti and meat- balls. Maybe it was a Lasa- gna dish you had at your Nonny's house. Maybe it was your mother rolling out the dough and making ravioli for Sunday dinner. I'm sure that we all can recall memories that involve pasta. But we never gave it a thought as to where pasta came from. As youngsters, we thought pasta came only from the Prince Macaroni boxes with its many varieties and shapes. We later would learn that pasta was from China and was brought to Italy by the Italian explorer Marco Polo. It is true that he found the Chinese were making pasta for centuries. But it is believed that pasta was in- troduced to southern Italy and Sicily by the Arab inva- sion of the 8 th century. Pasta was a food that traveled well. When made and dried pasta can last a long time and does not have to be refrigerated, thus invading armies had a ready supply of food that only had to be boiled in hot water and eaten. The ingredients for one pound of pasta are 2 cups wheat flour, 3 eggs, I/2 tea- spoon salt. After blending to form dough it can be shaped into many forms by rolling and cutting. It can be rolled into strings, rolled flat for what was in the early days called "lagane" and later known as, lasagna. In Italy only durum wheat is used to make pasta because it thrives in the Italian cli- mate. Today Italy is a major Pasta in jars. producer of this wheat that is used to make semolina flour. Dried pasta made its way around the globe during the age of discovery, about 1300, becoming known for nutri- tion and long shelf life that was ideal for long ship voy- ages. By the 1400s new shapes were introduced and new technology made the manufacturing of Pasta a lot easier. When the 19 th century rolled around tomatoes were brought over from the new world and introduced to Italy. Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and were considered to be non edible and poisonous. Then in 1839 the first pasta- tomato recipe was docu- mented. Sometime later tomatoes became popular in southern Italy and as they say the rest is history. There are roughly about 350 different shapes and va- rieties of dried pasta in Italy today. Shapes range from the simple tubular to the bow ties or "farfalle," meaning butterfly, to unique shapes like "raccehette," meaning tennis racket. There are two things that make Italian dried pasta better, extrusion and drying. The ziti or penne has ridges designed to allow the pasta sauce to hold onto the pasta. These ridges are created during the extrusion process when the pasta is forced through a copper mold and cut to length before they are dried. These copper molds are expensive and wear out but produce a bet- ter product than those made from steel which leave the pasta smooth and thus the pasta sauce does not hold onto the pasta. The drying process is critical and mass production falls short in that it dries the pasta for a short while at high temperature. Good Italian pasta is allowed to dry slower, up to 50 hours at a lower temperature, and as a result you get quicker cooking time and superior sauce holding pasta." Many diets stay away from pasta. Why? "Pasta is a low calorie, heart beneficial meal with 200 calories per cup and a gram of fat. Pasta made without eggs is cho- lesterol free. It is digested slowly and provides an even and gradual production of blood sugar." For a product that has been around for 500 years, with simple ingredients, healthy, appetizing, easy to prepare PASTA stands alone as one of the best products we hu- mans can consume. Bon Appetite!