Tag Archive: Sunday

Earth Watch Report  –  Snow Storm


article photo

Today Snow Storm USA State of Nebraska, [Eastern regions] Damage level

Snow Storm in USA on Monday, 11 March, 2013 at 04:02 (04:02 AM) UTC.

An unexpectedly severe snowstorm dumped half a foot or more snow across much of eastern Nebraska on Sunday, shut down an 80-mile stretch of Interstate 80 and was at least partially to blame for a crash southeast of Lincoln that killed a 22-year-old Sterling man. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said Loren D. Muhm died after he lost control of his 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and collided with an oncoming van on icy Nebraska 43 near Bennet. The other driver was uninjured. West of the Capital City, authorities shut down an 83-mile stretch of Interstate 80 as they dug out drivers stranded in the whiteout conditions. Eastbound lanes were closed from Grand Island to Northwest 48th Street in Lincoln, and westbound lanes from Northwest 48th to York. James Barger, a truck driver for Pierce, Colo.-based Indian Creek Express, said he was at the front of a massive pileup on the interstate just west of Goehner in Seward County on Sunday morning. He spoke to a reporter on the phone from a Red Cross shelter at 105 S. Sixth St. in Seward.

“My truck’s probably totaled, at least severely damaged,” he said. “These nice folks tracked me down a motel room for me and my dog.” Barger left the rest stop east of Goehner about 8 a.m. and within minutes, he came across a driver who’d stopped his Honda Civic along westbound I-80 because of the slippery conditions. Barger said he was helping the driver when a pair of trucks behind them started to jackknife, one going into the median and the other covering the roadway. A chain reaction crash resulted, ensnaring some 15 vehicles — at least, Barger said — but resulting in no major injuries that Barger was aware of after talking to rescue workers at the scene. State troopers still were assisting motorists and a Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman wasn’t able to provide specifics on any crashes Sunday afternoon, but a dispatcher said she was unaware of any significant injuries or fatalities on the interstate between Lincoln and Waco. The closures left thousands of visitors stranded in Lincoln, either forced off the interstate at Northwest 48th Street or unable to leave after attended high school basketball tournament games.

A stream of semitrailers and family vehicles poured into west Lincoln for much of the day, with police working to keep things moving. Officers directed westbound traffic off West O Street at Northwest 48th in order to keep drivers off U.S. 6 and allow those on the interstate to spill into town, Lincoln Police Capt. David Beggs said. U.S. 6 was closed in both directions as far west as the Seward area. The state Department of Roads urged caution on almost all major roadways in Nebraska. A member of the public reported measuring 4 inches of snow in Lincoln at I-80 and Cornhusker Highway about 12:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. An additional 2 to 3 inches was in the forecast. Snow measurements varied across the region, with the heaviest amounts falling in a stretch north of Lincoln from Butler County through Saunders, Dodge, Burt and Washington counties and into Iowa, based on information from early Sunday posted Web page of the Weather Service office in Valley. Those counties were under a winter storm warning. Lancaster and Seward counties were also placed under winter storm warnings due to the near-blizzard conditions, said Scott Dergan, a meterologist in Valley.

Worse than forecast

Winter storm exceeds expectations

By Maggie O’Brien


A Sunday winter storm made driving conditions hazardous for a good chunk of the nearly 6,000 men’s basketball fans who had headed to St. Louis to cheer on the Creighton Bluejays.

Laura and Tom Walker of Omaha planned to spend the night in St. Joseph, Mo., not wanting to risk travel on Interstate 29. The Iowa Department of Transportation had advised against taking the highway because of low visibility and poor road conditions.

“We’ve been getting messages from all the kids’ friends saying how bad the weather is in Omaha,” said Laura Walker, who along with her husband had gone to St. Louis with their teenage son and daughter and two other kids. “We have a couple of my son’s friends with us, too, so their parents were leaning toward us spending the night.”

The storm ended up being much worse than initially forecast, dumping 6-10 inches of snow in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, said Erik Pindrock, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, The World-Herald’s weather consultant.

Pindrock said Lincoln had reported 7 inches of snow late Sunday, while Fremont was near 9 inches.

Final totals for the Omaha metropolitan area were not immediately available, and the snow was expected to fall until as late as 1 this morning.

Poor conditions closed Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Grand Island for much of the day — the roadway had reopened by about 9 p.m. — and canceled a handful of flights in and out of Eppley Airfield at the height of the storm, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.


Read Full Article Here


Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on Feb. 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm |


Emergency responders talk boat-to-boat next to a listing barge laden with scrap car hulks anchored near the northern shore of Commencement Bay, Tacoma, February 24, 2013.  It has been reported that some of the crushed cars fell into the water.
Emergency responders talk boat-to-boat next to a listing barge laden with scrap car hulks anchored near the northern shore of Commencement Bay, Tacoma, February 24, 2013. It has been reported that some of the crushed cars fell into the water. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

A Canadian barge listing along Marine View Drive on Sunday appeared to dump some of the scrap metal cars it was carrying into the water near Browns Point as crews tried to stabilize it, according to the state Department of Ecology.

The vessel was reported as listing Sunday morning, at which point the company expecting the metal hired a private group to salvage the barge, DOE specialist Ron Holcomb said.

Holcomb said he believed the owner of the barge had been contracted to deliver the cars to metal recycler Schnitzer Steel’s location along the Hylebos Waterway.

A News Tribune call to Schnitzer Steel’s government affairs official was not returned Sunday.

“The fear is the whole thing could capsize,” Holcomb said. “The priority right now is the stabilization of the vessel.”

The barge did not appear to be taking on water anymore as of Sunday night, Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn said. He said Coast Guard officials would monitor the vessel overnight.


Read Full Article Here 

Earth Watch Report  –  Avalanche




Avalanche kills six Indian troops on Siachen glacier

by Staff Writers
Srinagar, India (AFP)


Thousands of soldiers from both nations endure bitter conditions on the glacier, which is dubbed “The world’s highest battleground”, due to the long-running territorial dispute.

An estimated 8,000 troops have died since 1984, almost all of them from avalanches, landslides, frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat.

“The avalanche struck a forward post early on Sunday morning, burying seven soldiers,” army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Brar told AFP.

“Rescue operations were launched immediately and so far six bodies have been recovered. The rescue effort is still ongoing.”

In April 140 Pakistani soldiers were killed by a huge avalanche on Siachen.

Kashmir has been the cause of two wars between India and Pakistan and the nuclear-armed rivals fought over Siachen in 1987, though guns on the glacier have largely fallen silent since a peace process began in 2004.



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Earth Watch Report  – Storms

19.11.2012 Hailstorm Australia State of New South Wales, Bermagui Damage level Details


Hailstorm in Australia on Monday, 19 November, 2012 at 08:30 (08:30 AM) UTC.

Residents at Bermagui were left to mop up after two supercell thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon dumped hail the likes of which had never been seen before. Narooma itself had some heavy rain but missed out on the weather excitement experienced in Bermagui to the south and also north at Batemans Bay where a waterspout made national news. Back in Bermagui, the Bermagui newsagent was perhaps the hardest hit by flooding caused by hail blocking drains by they were by no means alone. The newsagent sustained as much as $20,000 worth of damage after the ceiling collapsed when water starting flowing in through the roof after the gutters became clogged. Owner Rob McLennan said the hail storm was the worst he and even old timers of 90 years had ever seen in the town.

Superstorm hits Australia’s east coast with 4000 lightning strikes in one hour in Brisbane

Westside markets storm

Kelvin Grove Markets completely destroyed by Brisbane’s superstorm. Picture: Vanessa Croll/Westside News Source: Quest Newspapers

Name the superstorm

The Yanks had Sandy, now our superstorm needs a name. Which do you like?

A DAMAGING storm has turned “day into night” in Brisbane, as lightning and winds brought down powerlines and left more than 6000 homes and businesses without electricity.

Meanwhile, another severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for other parts of the state.

The Queensland State Emergency Service was busy cleaning up the Brisbane CBD this afternoon after wild weather ripped through the city around 11am today.

In Ipswich, a small grass fire was sparked when lightning struck a crane next to the city’s hospital just after 10am but the incoming rain extinguished it, a Department of Community Services spokeswoman told AAP.

In Ann Street in the CBD, a hotel roof collapsed under the storm while another 72 calls for assistance were made asking for help with leaking roofs and fallen trees,

Lightning storm

Lightning strikes during the storm. Picture: Rajani Manandhar

“It turned day into night,” a SES worker said.

“It came quickly and then it left.”

A weather alert was posted by the Bureau of Meteorology just minutes before rain smacked the east coast, leaving thousands of people without power.

Weatherzone reported more than 4000 lightning strikes within 80km of Brisbane in the space of one hour.

Superstorm hits QUT

The Lego Robotics competition is disrupted as a wild storm hits the Kelvin Grove campus of QUT.

A police spokesman said 50 people were evacuated from an inner-city building after the storm caused a partial cave-in of the roof of a lodge in the inner suburb of Wilston. He said the storm had also caused a minor fire in Seventeen Mile Rocks, in Brisbane’s south-west, after a house was struck by lightning.

For full coverage of the storm go to www.couriermail.com.au

Police also reported they fallen trees across roads in Milton, Kangaroo Point and the Fortitude Valley area.

People in Brisbane, Redlands, North Stradbroke and parts of the Gold Coast. Logan and Moreton Bay have been badly hit with thousands of homes left without power, falshing flooding and partial road closures.


Lightning strikes create a strange sight over Wynnum West. Picture: Donna Shepherd


Trees down at Bowen Hills

A tree was pulled down by strong wind gusts on Kennigo Street, Bowen Hills. Picture: Brittany Vonow Source: The Courier-Mail

An Energex spokeswoman said many homes and businesses had been left without power, particularly on Brisbane’s southside.

“It’s widespread at the moment. We can see there are about 6000 or 7000 homes and businesses around our network without power,” she said.

Supercell thunderstorms with the potential to create tornadoes are threatening to smash NSW and Queensland this weekend.

Paddington takes a beating by storm

A large storm lasting about 15 minutes swept over Brisbane following a short period of high humidity bringing lighting and high winds but n…

Considered the most dangerous storms, supercells develop where wind shear is present through a very unstable atmosphere.

“Supercell thunderstorms are likely to produce severe weather,” said Tom Saunders, Senior Meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

He said such extreme weather events were “likely across northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland this weekend and have the potential to cause flash flooding, damaging winds and large hail”.

“The wind shear leads to rotation within the storm and a longer lifespan,” he said.

Flooding Bowen hills

Flooding at Bowen Hills. Picture: Darren England

“Supercells often cause very heavy rain and flash flooding, large hail, damaging winds gusts and occasionally tornadoes.

Reader poll: So far, it’s Superstorm Shaz, but what do you think? Vote in the poll on this page.

The more intense thunderstorms this weekend have the potential to bring around 50mm of rain, but most of northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland are expected to receive at least 20mm. Weather Bureau senior forecaster Jonty Hall said thunderstorms were expected to develop in west Queensland about midday and move towards the coast in the afternoon.

“With the warm humid conditions and the help of an upper level trough, that’s going to lead to reasonably unstable conditions as well,” he said.

Tree at New Farm in superstorm

A tree down on Lamington Street, New Farm. Picture: Jacques Maudy Photography

“The threat increases from early afternoon onwards to early evening.”

Storms have already struck in parts of Queensland, with Pittsworth Newsagency employee Lauren O’Shea reporting a storm hit the location just after 8.30am.

“There was a fair bit of rain and thunder and lightning,” she said.

Storms are likely right into northern NSW and have the potential to produce about 50mm of rain.

Flooding at Fortitude Valley

Cars drive through water on flooded streets at Fortitude Valley. Picture: Brittany Vonow

In Queensland, any storms will follow an early burst of hot weather.

Ipswich is expected to record a top of 37C on Saturday, as will Brisbane’s western and southern suburbs.

Much of the west will be in the 40s.

Weather Bureau forecaster Bryan Rolstone said the hottest place in the state would most likely be Bedourie in the far southwest, with 43C.

Superstorm hits Brisbane

Steven Boeck films the superstorm that hit Brisbane from underneath the Red Hill shops.

“A northwest wind will bring hot air out of the Gulf (of Carpentaria) and the NT,” Mr Rolstone said.

“There’ll be more moisture around on Saturday and a trough will be right on us, providing lift and moisture.

“We’re about a month behind with our storm season, but moisture levels are rising.”

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Earth Watch Report  – Earthquake

English: Panorámica de la Ciudad de Concepción...

English: Panorámica de la Ciudad de Concepción, Chile. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Chile

Written by

WKYC Weather

CONCEPCION, Chile — An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 struck on Sunday evening in southern Chile.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was located south of Concepcion and occurred about 10 miles below the surface. There were no immediate reports of damage or major injuries from the tremblor.

Ironically, the quake struck on the first anniversary of an 8.8  magnitude quake that left 521 people dead and several thousand homeless in 2010.


Date/Time (UTC) Magnitude Area Country State/Prov./Gov. Location Risk Source Details
13.11.2012 06:37:02 4.0 South-America Chile Coquimbo Ovalle VulkĂĄn 0 There are airport(s) nearby the epicenter. VulkĂĄn 0 EMSC Details
13.11.2012 06:37:24 6.0 South-America Chile Aisén del General Carlos Ibáńez del Campo Puerto Chacabuco VulkĂĄn 0 VulkĂĄn 0 VulkĂĄn 0 EMSC Details
13.11.2012 06:06:08 5.4 South America Chile Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Puerto Chacabuco VulkĂĄn 0 VulkĂĄn 0 VulkĂĄn 0 USGS-RSOE Details

Politics, Legislation and Economy News



Politics – War on terror  :  National Sovereignty – Unethical


Published on Oct 10, 2012 by

At his first press conference after his victory in last Sunday’s Venezuelan presidential election, Hugo Chavez reaffirmed his support for the Syrian government during the current unrest.

Human rights groups claim that after 19 months of unrest in Syria tens of thousands of people have been killed.

Venezuela has been one of the staunchest defenders of the Syrian government. Since the unrest began, Venezuela has provided three shipments of oil to Syria.

Chavez went on to attack his frequent foe, the United States, for their support of the foriegn backed militant groups in Syria and their involvement in the unrest.

Speaking about last Sunday’s presidential election, Chavez attacked the western and mainstream media for calling his 11-point victory against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Randonski close.

The Venezuelan president said that on January 10th, inauguration day, he would submit a second socialist plan to the national assembly. Chavez also said that he would increase dialogue with the opposition after the election.


Hugo Chávez comes out swinging in first post-election press conference

Venezuelan leader lambasts Washington, backs Assad and laments death of Gaddafi in ebullient address

The Guardian

Hugo Chávez press conference

Hugo Chávez speaks during a press conference with a portrait of independence hero Simón Bolívar in the background. Photograph: Miguel Gutierrez/EPA

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez may have started a new term, but it was the old, anti-imperialist, anti-US drive that characterised his first press conference since winning re-election for six more years.

Lambasting Washington, backing Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and accusing Europe of cashing in on the death of Muammar Gaddafi, Chávez came out swinging after his comfortable victory on Sunday.

On ebullient and provocative form, the president accused the US of fomenting unrest in the Middle East, particularly in Syria. “This is a crisis that has been planned and provoked … Syria is a sovereign nation. This crisis has a single cause: the world has entered into a new era of imperialism. It’s madness. The US government has been among the most irresponsible. I hope Obama rethinks this,” he said.

Venezuela has supported the Syrian government by shipping oil to make up for shortfalls caused by US-initiated embargoes.

“How can I not support Assad. He’s the legitimate leader … We will continue in our support and advocate peace,” Chávez told reporters at the presidential palace in Miraflores.

He also lamented the death of his friend, former Libyan leader Gaddafi. “The way he died was a barbarity. Gaddafi was assassinated almost on TV.” He said the former Libyan leader had sent him a last message, in which he compared himself to Che Guevara: “I shall die like Che – I will be a martyr.”

Europe, he said, had frozen billions in Libyan assets, which was “convenient” at a time when it was facing its own financial crisis.

Chávez accused outside forces of trying to oust him in the presidential election.

“We didn’t just defeat [his rival, Henrique] Capriles. We also defeated an international coalition. This wasn’t just a domestic battle.”

He said voters had been inundated with 500,000 automated messages from the US and Europe urging them to back his Capriles.

“How much did this cost? Who has the capacity to do such a thing?”, he asked. “The great transnational phone companies were supporting Capriles. It was electoral harassment.”

Friendlier foreign forces were, however, quick to congratulate Chávez on his victory. Other leftwing leaders in Latin America gave celebration calls. Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly told him the election news was the “best present I could have for my 60th birthday”.

Chávez also castigated the foreign media’s coverage of the election, which he won with 55.2% of the vote against Capriles’s 44.1%.

“I’ve read that Venezuela is divided. But the US is also divided. Every country is divided,” Chávez said. “I won by 10 points and the foreign media call the victory slim. How much did Hollande win by in France? How much will Obama win by? You know Obama is my candidate? … I would vote for him if I could.”

With six more years in power, the Venezuelan president said he would ask the opposition for proposals and look for possible areas of collaboration, though he emphasised that past efforts had come to nothing.

“The opposition has a catastrophic vision for the country,” he said. “They deny everything the government achieves.”

• This article was amended on Wednesday 10 October to correct the figures on Chávez’s margin of victory.


Animal Advocacy




Conservation  / Protection





Giant panda cub dies at National Zoo

The distress call had gone out at the National Zoo: The week-old giant panda cub was in trouble, perhaps dying, and the keepers had to get it out of the den for treatment, with its agitated 240-pound mother a few feet away.

It was a practiced but dangerous maneuver. Standing behind protective bars, one keeper, Marty Dearie, distracted the adult female with honey-flavored water, while another, Juan Rodriguez, reached in with a long-handled “grabber” and pulled the cub through the bars.


The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday morning, saddening zoo officials and visitors who had heralded its unexpected arrival.

The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday morning, saddening zoo officials and visitors who had heralded its unexpected arrival.

The baby was then whisked to the keepers’ office in the panda compound where veterinarian Nancy Boedeker used her fingers to do gentle heart massage on an animal that weighed about four ounces.

But there was no heartbeat and no respiration, and after about 10 minutes Boedeker stopped. The zoo’s giant panda cub, born amid hope and fanfare Sept. 16, was pronounced dead at 10:28 a.m., after a life of not quite 61 / 2 days.

Somber zoo officials on Sunday painted this portrait of the cub’s final moments, along with the effort of keepers and veterinarians to save its life.

The cub’s sudden death struck the zoo community on a beautiful fall morning, as the facility on Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington was thronged with visitors. The staff was “devastated,” zoo director Dennis Kelly said. (Update: National Zoo: newborn panda cub had liver abnormalities, and fluid in abdomen)

“I’m worried about my keepers,” he said. “They’ve got 2,000 animals to take care of, and they’ve got to remain safe.”

And it upended, for now, all the plans for a new era of giant pandas at the National Zoo and in the Washington region. Zoo officials said it was too early to discuss what they might do about their pandas in the future.

The zoo’s giant panda population stands at two: Mei Xiang, the cub’s mother, and mate Tian Tian, its father. The cub was so small that the zoo did not yet know its sex.

“Distressed vocalizations” from Mei Xiang were heard at about 9:17 a.m. Sunday, and keepers realized “this is not right, this is not good,” zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said.

Kelly said Mei Xiang “got up and moved off of where she was holding the cub, and made a honk,” which was unusual for her. “We surmised that that was a distress call,” he said.

The keepers also had stopped hearing the cub’s healthy squealing, which had gone on for a week and was a sign of a thriving newborn.

Emergency protocols were activated, and within minutes a team of four keepers and two veterinarians had assembled in the keepers’ office in the panda house.

The effort to extract the cub from the den was delicate. “[Mei Xiang] is a 240-pound wild bear with maternal instincts,” Kelly said. “And she’s upset.”

First the keepers tried calling Mei Xiang to get her out of the den, but that didn’t work, zoo officials said.

Then Dearie and Rodriguez entered an area adjacent to the den, where they were protected by bars but could reach the cub if they could distract the mother.

Dearie did so by splashing honey water near her, and at about 10:15 a.m. Rodriquez got the cub.

He handed it to Dearie, who rushed the cub to the keepers’ office, which is stocked with incubators and other emergency equipment.

Boedeker tried to intubate the cub to establish a good flow of oxygen, but its airway was too tiny, Kelly said.


The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday morning, saddening zoo officials and visitors who had heralded its unexpected arrival.

The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday morning, saddening zoo officials and visitors who had heralded its unexpected arrival.

She then did heart massage for about 10 minutes, Kelly said, and stopped when it was clear that the cub could not be revived.

“This is devastating news for the entire Smithsonian National Zoo community,” he said. “Our staff, our volunteers, the people all over Washington and all over the nation that were following the wonderful announcement of the birth of this cub.”

The zoo said it was not clear what happened, but a necropsy was scheduled to be performed Sunday night by John Roberts, a zoo veterinarian pathologist. The zoo said it might have some preliminary results by Monday.

“We’re all very anxious to know what happened,” chief veterinarian Suzan Murray said.

Murray noted that upon preliminary examination, “the cub looked just fabulous. There were no external signs of trauma, no signs of clinical illness or disease, nor had we seen anything in the last few days or the past 24 hours to indicate that anything was wrong.”

“The cub was just beautiful,” Murray said, her voice shaking for a second. “Beautiful little body. Beautiful face, with the markings just beginning to show around the eye. Couldn’t have been more beautiful.”

Mei Xiang had been “a fabulous mom, taking very good care of the cub,” Murray said. Indeed, Mei Xiang had been holding the cub so close to her body, apparently to nurse it and keep it warm, that zoo officials had scarcely been able to glimpse it on the panda cam monitoring the den.

It was the sixth giant panda cub to die at the zoo, going back to the 1980s. A seventh cub was stillborn. The only cub to survive into maturity has been Tai Shan, who was born to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian in 2005.

Giant panda cubs, like many newborns at the zoo, are extremely fragile.

Murray said the zoo’s giant panda pair appeared to be in good health Sunday, although the staff had a close eye on Mei Xiang because it was the first time she had lost a cub.

The cub was born a week ago, at 10:46 p.m. Sept. 16, to jubilation across the region.

The surprise birth came after five failed attempts to impregnate Mei Xiang, and zoo experts thought the chance of her having another cub was less than 10 percent.

“There are so many things that can go wrong in the first week of life,” Murray said.

In 2010, a newborn red panda cub died at the zoo. That cub was found lifeless on July 7 and was rushed to the zoo’s veterinary hospital, where its death was confirmed. The male cub, born June 16, 2010, was the first red panda cub born at the zoo in 15 years.

The zoo said there is a 50 percent mortality rate for red panda cubs born in captivity.

Much smaller than giant pandas, red pandas resemble a cross between a fox and a raccoon.

In the 1980s, five giant panda cubs were born to Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, who were given to the United States by China in 1972.

Ling-Ling had her first cub in 1983, but it died of pneumonia three hours later. She had another cub that was stillborn in 1984. In 1987, she had twins, which is not uncommon among giant pandas, experts say.

One of the twins died immediately and the other died of an infection four days later.

The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday morning, saddening zoo officials and visitors who had heralded its unexpected arrival.

She produced another cub in 1989, but it died of pneumonia 23 hours after it was born.

Ling-Ling died in 1992 and Hsing-Hsing in 1999.

Zoo visitors on Sunday were dismayed by the cub’s death.



Larry Roberts/Post-Gazette
Nick Christofano, owner of Unique Ink Tattoo in Greensburg, tattoos Brian Svesnik of Belle Vernon during a fundraiser for Nick’s daughter Shelby, who has acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Shelby Sisco enjoys a special fundraiser.
Click image to enlarge
By Margaret Smykla

Calista Coffman has 25 tattoos. Sunday, she found space for one more.

For ten hours, Nick Christofano, owner of Unique Ink Tattoo in Greensburg, opened his shop, which is typically closed on Sundays, for 45 to 50 friends, family and loyal customers to go under a tattoo artist’s needle for a $100 donation.

The event was held for Mr. Christofano’s daughter, Shelby Sisco, 15, who in February was diagnosed with leukemia.

Shelby returned home to Greensburg on July 9 from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC after undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Mr. Christofano said the roughly $4,500 to $5,000 raised Sunday was overwhelming.

“It’s very heartwarming to have the kind of support we have had for Shelby,” he said.

The funds will help defray the family’s expenses related to Shelby’s hospitalization, including tutoring: she missed half her freshman year.

Today, in remission and feeling fine, she looks forward to starting her sophomore year at Hempfield Area High School.

Five shop tattoo artists, including Johnny Fry and Zane Leibowitz, donated their talents for the day.

“It’s been awesome — people helping people,” Mr. Fry, 30, of Irwin said.

“Nick gave me the job of a lifetime. This is the least I can do to help out a very good friend,”said Mr. Leibowitz, 25, of Mt. Washington.

Five other tattoo shops nationwide, owned by friends of Mr. Christofano, will also hold fundraisers for Shelby this month.

“I appreciate all this help,”she said.

“It’s wonderful to see all the people willing to support Shelby and our family,” said Shelby’s mother, Joei Christofano.

For Katie Stobert, 30, it was her first trip to Unique Ink Tattoo, but not her first tattoo.

“I came for a good cause,” the Natrona Heights woman said, and left the shop with a tiger lily tattoo on her foot.

Also among those who got inked on Sunday was Don Christofano, 29, of Jeannette. He came for a skull tattoo on his leg and a whole lot more.

“I’m here to support my cousin in her fight with cancer,” he said.

Mrs. Coffman, 33, and her husband, D.J. Coffman, 36, of Scottdale, got matching tattoos.

Mrs. Coffman, who founded the Westmoreland Roller Derby League earlier this year, also recruited 13 girls from the league to take part in a bowl-a-thon fundraiser for Shelby that was held in April.

To donate, send a check payable to Shelby Sisco to Unique Ink Tattoo, 225 West Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, PA 15601.

Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com. Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.
First Published July 26, 2012 4:45 am

Total Devastation: ‘Germany will pay for Euro break up’


Published on Jun 19, 2012 by

Well at the G20 itself world leaders have voiced their concern over the eurozone crisis, calling it the ‘single biggest threat to the world economy.’ Many have said progress has been way too slow in dealing with the situation. This comes after Sunday’s elections in Greece failed to produce an outright winner again to form a new government. The pro-bailout, New Democracy party, won almost 30% of the votes and is now urgently seeking to form a coalition. The new government will have a mammoth task ahead especially as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there will be no changes in the austerity cuts that are part of the Greek bailout. Professof of sociology from Binghamtom University James Petras believe even if a deal is reached between the parties, it’s unlikely they will find a solution for Greece.