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Looking out from number one

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I had drinks a few nights ago with a friend, and about five minutes in I realized that he had become someone very different.

This friend lives in New York, so we only see each other a couple of times a year, when he comes out to the West Coast for business. Usually our drink-fueled conversation centers on arguments about politics -- arguments that get absurdly heated for two people who agree on pretty much everything.

BP's tree fell on my lawn

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A friend posted this link on Facebook to Roger Ebert's column in the Chicago Sun Times July 25. Ebert, a cancer-survivor who can no longer speak, articulates his views in print through powerful prose. One of the best and most thoughtful film critics since Andre' Bazin and Pauline Kael, he applies his powers of observation, and critical skills -- indeed his soul -- to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

NY AG subpoenas panhandling 'nun'

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"The lying "nun" will now have to answer to New York's highest authority.

NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo yesterday subpoenaed panhandling phony Melindia LeGrand after the New York Post exposed the sham sister's bad habit of seeking donations for a nonexistent orphanage, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.

For more than a decade, LeGrand has walked city streets allegedly claiming to be an Episcopal nun in order to prey on the public's sympathies

Authentic nuns and priests who actually beg for alms could very well be impacted if new city or state legislation is introduced to prohibit false solicitations. According to the New York Post, New York City Councilman Peter Valone, Jr., a Democrat, Catholic, and a Fordham College and Law School graduate is introducing legislation that would prohibit such false solicitations.

Reclusive Benedictine Nuns Find Their Big Break

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Justin Bieber had better watch out. Decca Records, part of Universal Music, which counts Lady Gaga and U2 among its acts has just signed a major record deal with the nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, a reclusive order based near Avignon. In a global search of 70 convents throughout Europe, Africa, and the United States, this order of Benedictine nuns were deemed to have the finest Gregorian Chant singers.

The order's rules would not allow for Decca Records managing director Dickon Stainer to enter their home to congratulate them.However the alternative seemed to work just fine.

"I passed the contract through the grille, they signed it and passed it back," he said.

In a musical world where money symbols are a commonly accepted spelling for one's name, (as in Ke$ha) or "boom boom boom" are socially accepted lyrical art forms, one finds it incredibly refreshing to hear the sweet sounds of an album the artists merely hope will help listeners "find peace".

The sisters' album, Voice: Chant From Avignon, will be released in November.

Bishop Lennon meets with parishioners of closed parish

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You may have missed this on Friday. Friday afternoon, John Juhasz and his wife spent one hour talking with Bishop Richard Lennon at the Cleveland Diocese. They asked for three requests. In addition to re-opening their church, parishioners asked for their Priest to be reinstated and they asked the Bishop to host a "Mass of reconciliation."

Why were Perlitz' charges dismissed?

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It came a shock the week before last when a federal judge dismissed all charges in the government's high-profile prosecution of Douglas Perlitz, a graduate of Jeusit-run Fairfield University in Connecticut. The government had charged Perlitz with using an internationally known youth charity in Haiti that he founded to give him access to boys with whom he could have sex. Perlitz was well connected with Connecticut Catholics.

New report on the effects of climate change on U. S. water supplies

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Climate change will have a significant impact on the sustainability of water supplies in the coming decades.

A new analysis, performed by consulting firm Tetra Tech for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), examined the effects of global warming on water supply and demand in the contiguous United States. The study found that more than 1,100 counties -- one-third of all counties in the lower 48 -- will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming. More than 400 of these counties will face extremely high risks of water shortages.

The document is available in .pdf form on the site.

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In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

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