CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2013 |
Since the Lancaster City Council began opening its meetings with a prayer from local religious leaders, people have become more tolerant of unfamiliar beliefs, according to Mayor Rex Parris. The invocations have come from Muslims, Sikhs and Wiccans as well as from Christians. Parris says the exposure has had a "unifying effect," with people in the High Desert city no longer flinching at mentions of Allah. But to Shelley Rubin and Maureen Feller, a prayer at an April 2010 council meeting crossed the line, amounting to a government endorsement of Christianity.
March 16, 2013
Re "A new world pope," March 14 When I was confirmed, I chose Francis as my confirmation name. I was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi and his example of peaceful humility and service. Unfortunately, the church would not allow me a male name, and I had to settle for Frances, the feminine form. I have always considered St. Francis my role model. I pray that Pope Francis not only leads a more forward-thinking church but also a forward-moving one, modeled in his namesake's grace.
March 15, 2013 |
SAO PAULO, Brazil - In Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted an affectionate greeting for Pope Francis as he prepared for a last-minute trip to arrive in Rome in time for Mass at the Vatican on Sunday. Acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro joked that Hugo Chavez, his predecessor who died last week, must have persuaded Jesus that the world was ready for a South American pope. And in Brazil, many people confessed a tinge of disappointment that a Brazilian papal candidate had been bypassed for a cardinal from their rival - and fellow soccer-mad nation - Argentina.
March 14, 2013 |
ROME - Hours after being named pontiff, Pope Francis visited a church in the Italian capital Thursday to pray on the morning of his first full day as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. The first pope from the Americas spent about half an hour inside St. Mary Major, a grand basilica in the heart of Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. On Monday evening, after he was revealed as the 266th pope, Francis had told cheering crowds in St. Peter's Square that he intended to petition Mary to “watch over all of Rome.” Though the leader of the world's Catholic faithful, the pope is also by tradition the bishop of the Italian capital.
February 27, 2013 |
City Councilman Chad Lewis says he's a man who relishes tradition. And in Rapid City, S.D., that means starting each council session with a brief prayer led by a local minister. But now that practice is under attack by a national organization that has filed lawsuits in other cases nationwide involving the separation of church and state. The Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation recently sent a letter to Rapid City officials saying that it received a complaint from a South Dakota citizen who objects to the invocations before each public meeting.
February 12, 2013 |
In an earlier era, Dr. Benjamin Carson's speech before the National Prayer Breakfast last week would have been a really big deal rather than mere fodder for a brief squall on Twitter and cable news. Born in crushing poverty to an illiterate single mother dedicated to seeing her children succeed, Carson became the head of the department of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins medical institutions when he was 33. He's been a black celebrity role model ever since. Even if you didn't like the substance of what Carson had to say at the breakfast, his speech makes for great political theater.
February 4, 2013 |
Lobbying efforts stepped up on Monday as the leadership of the Boy Scouts prepared to consider an end to the national ban on gay membership. Members of the Scouts' board began their three-day meeting Monday in Irving, Texas, where those seeking to end the ban presented petitions they said had 1.4 million signatures. Save Our Scouts planned a prayer vigil in support of the ban for Wednesday, the day the board is expected to vote. Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mother from Ohio who was ousted as a Scout den leader, was among those delivering the signatures gathered online.
February 1, 2013 |
Boxer Omar Henry, who was pulled from a televised fight card in November after discovering he had gallbladder cancer, died Friday in Chicago. He was 25. Henry, a light-middleweight, was supposed to fight on Showtime on Nov. 16. A couple of days before the event, he went to a doctor because of nausea. Tests revealed that he had Stage 4 gallbladder cancer. He posted the news on his Facebook page : "To all my friends and loyal fans I want to inform you all that I am fighting the fight of my life against a disease known as gallbladder cancer.
January 31, 2013 |
Winter X Games competitor Caleb Moore died Thursday morning in a Colorado hospital a week after his snowmobile crashed during an event. He was 25 years old. Moore crashed last Thursday while attempting a backflip on a 70-foot ramp during a freestyle event. During his landing, the skis on his 450-pound snowmobile hit the snow, sending Moore flying over the handlebars. Moore landed face first onto the ground; then his snowmobile rolled over him. Moore walked off the course and went to a hospital to be treated for a concussion, but his condition quickly worsened.
January 17, 2013
Ever had raccoon dig up your lawn? Melanie Polinger of Manhattan Beach is feeling your pain. She wrote into our SoCal Garden Clinic to say: "We replaced our backyard lawn with Marathon sod in December and the raccoons in the area have been rolling it up to hunt for grubs and worms almost daily. I return the sod to its original position, but I don't know how long the grass will be able to take this rotten treatment by the raccoons. "I have sprayed our surrounding walls with rodent/raccoon spray and sprinkled raccoon repellent around the perimeter of the grassy area.