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Staff photo by E.J. Harris

Sue LeFever uses a sewing machine to sew together patches for a quilt pattern while working quilt for Project Linus on Tuesday in Hermiston. Project Linus is a network of volunteers who make quilts for children who are seriously ill, traumatized or in need.

Medicinal quilting Local Project Linus chapter donates quilts to children in need By ANNA WILLARD East Oregonian To a child in crisis, something as simple as a blanket can feel safe and secure. Project Linus, a nationwide charity with a local chapter, makes and donates quilts to those children. For Will Killion, now age 6, his crisis came in the form of two heart surgeries at 2-weeksold. Killion was flown from St. Anthony’s Hospital in Pendleton to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, where the Boardman family spent three weeks going through surgeries and recovery, said his mother, Mary Killion. Once the family arrived, doctors worked quickly to stabilize the infant before he could be left alone while doctors met with his family. When Mary and Will’s father, Wes, returned, Will was already snuggled up in a Project Linus quilt. “Your life at that point has turned in directions you never see coming,” Mary said. “We came back into the room and he was laying on this beautiful quilt and we just laughed.” Seeing that someone they didn’t even know had taken time to make the quilt was very comforting to them. “It was more medicine for us at that point,” Mary said. The volunteer quilters don’t know where their blankets end up; the quilts are stockpiled at places like the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Department, child protective services and hospitals. The quilts are distributed

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

An ice cream quilt made by the Hermiston Project Linus chapter hangs on a shelf full of quilting supplies. as needed, said Gina Fiddes, a local Project Linus volunteer. “We find out about situations after the fact,” Fiddes said. “Our previous coordinator would get calls from bailiffs saying kids would have to come testify in court and they would bring their quilt with them to testify.” The quilts are a tangible thing they can hold on to and take with them wherever they end up, Fiddes said. Jan Maye, the coordinator for the Hermiston Project Linus chapter, coordinates with other organizations to get the quilts and

blankets out to those who need them. Finished quilts, quilt tops or blankets are donated to the project; most of the time members do not know who donates the items. The donations are dropped off at Auntie Ida’s Quilt Shop or Pendleton QuiltWorks. The loose material is turned into full-fledged quilts, if needed, Mayer said. “I think it’s an activity that really needs to be done in this locality because kids need that kind of encouragement,” Mayer said.



A new definition for ‘going viral’ ‘Contagion’ an infectious thriller

C AP photo by Warner Bros. Pictures, Claudette Barius

In Steven Soderbergh’s newest thriller, “Contagion,” Matt Damon, center, fights to protect his daughter from both a deadly disease and a desperate public.


ontagion,” in which a deadly virus spreads faster than the latest YouTube sensation, blends the modern strands of a disaster movie in such a brutally effective way you may never leave your home without hand sanitizer again. Directed by DOMINIC Steven SoderBAEZ bergh (“Ocean’s At the Movies Eleven”), “Con-

tagion” is about more than a viral menace. In essence, it’s about fear: how it can debilitate even the most rational person, how it can devolve some of the most sophisticated cities in the world into utter chaos. Scientists (portrayed as Big Government in a strange, tea party manner) provide the cool center to this pandemic, while the average layman succumbs to his baser instincts, fighting for himself over the common good. It wouldn’t be so terrifying if it weren’t so believeable, especially after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina where we saw society revert back to a more primal stage. “Contagion” starts on Day 2, and we’re introduced to an al-


##### # Critic’s choice ready sickly looking woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) after returning home from Hong Kong. Within minutes, she’s writhing on the floor, foaming at the mouth and eyes glassing over. Her husband, Mitch (a crucial if hardly seen Matt Damon), quickly learns her death wasn’t caused by something she ate. Instead, the cause is unknown. But it doesn’t stay



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Winehouse’s dad says he thinks seizure killed her By DAVID BAUDER The Associated Press NEW YORK — Amy Winehouse’s father says he believes she died after suffering a seizure related to alcohol detoxification and “there was nobody there to rescue her.” The soul diva, who had fought drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead in bed at her London home on July 23. Her family says toxicology reports indicated there was alcohol in her bloodstream but it was unclear whether this had con-

tributed to her death at age 27. Mitch Winehouse said Friday during a taping of Anderson Cooper’s new syndicated talk show that traces of the prescription drug Librium, which is used to fight anxiety and withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism, were found in her body. “Everything Amy did, she did to excess,” he said on the show, which is to air as Cooper’s debut Monday. “She drank to excess and did detox to excess.” He said he regretted that his daughter — whose

most famous song, “Rehab,” has her answering “no, no, no” when told to go to rehab — was trying to kick her alcoholism without a doctor’s help. He said “the periods of abstinence were becoming longer, and the periods of drinking were becoming shorter. It was heading in the right direction.” The singer had suffered seizures during this period and would lose consciousness. Her father admitted he was speculating that this happened on the morning she died and said he should find out more

conclusively how she died when a full inquest into her death begins next month. Years earlier, when Amy Winehouse was on harder drugs including heroin and cocaine, her father said, he would not have been surprised if she had died. Mitch Winehouse, who is starting his own singing career, was in New York when his daughter’s security guard called him in July. Hearing the distraught tone of the security guard’s voice, the father said his first words were, “Is she dead?”

LINUS: More than 4M quilts have been donated

East Oregonian

Box Office Top 5

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

Continued From 1C Four million The Hermiston chapter provides quilts in Umatilla and Morrow counties. So far this year it has turned out 47 quilts. Forty went to the Guardian Care Center in Pendleton and seven to the Pregnancy Care Center in Hermiston. Executive Director Bryan Clark of the Guardian Care Center, a non-profit child abuse intervention center, said he hands out the quilts almost as fast as they come in. Clark, a lead interviewer, assesses suspected child abuse cases referred from

either law enforcement or Oregon Department of Human Services. “They bring the child in, we do an interview and the child gets a chance to tell the story about the alleged abuse,” Clark said. Since the children in these situations are already stressed, not knowing the interviewers adds to a bad situation. At that point, Clark gives the children the choice of a donated stuffed animal or a quilt. “Between the quilts and stuffed animals, the favorite item for them to choose is the quilt,” Clark said. “If I have 40 quilts in

as soon as we do 40 assesment they’re gone.” Clark said the Hermiston group donates quilts 2-3 times per year. Nationally, 368 Project Linus chapters turn out about 500,000 blankets and quilts per year, said Carol Babbitt, Project Linus president and executive director. Since the organization’s inception in 1995, almost four million quilts have been donated to children. Project Linus headquarters, Bloomington, Ill., provides the logistical support a non-profit organization needs. “We take care of every-

thing for them so they can be freed up to make blankets and get them to kids,” Babbitt said. Project Linus was started in 1995 by Karen Loucks, who read an article in Parade magazine about a little girl undergoing chemotherapy. The patient said her security blanket helped her get through the treatments. Loucks began donating homemade blankets to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Cancer Center and Project Linus was born, according to the organization’s website. “It’s a great project,” Fiddes said. “It’s a shame that it’s needed, but it is.”

EO score:

No. 1 The Help


No. 2 The Debt


No. 3 Apollo 18


Shark Night No. 4 3-D Rise of No. 5 the Planet


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Rotten Tomatoes is a registered trademarks of Flixster, Inc.

CONTAGION: Director tackles human emotion, response to viral pandemic Continued From 1C

Joanne Board, left, and Gina Fiddles use a cutting board and a circular blade to cut pieces of cloth for a quilt Tuesday in Hermiston. The pair were working on a quilt for Project Linus.

Rotten Tomatoes

Page 3C

unknown for long. It seems nothing moves slowly in this movie, especially the virus, which razes everything in its wake. Anyone who shook hands, turned a door knob or came into contact through any myriad ways with an infected person risks a quick and painful death. Working with writer Scott Z. Burns, editor Stephen Mirrione and composer Cliff Martinez, Soderbergh paints the story with a near-palpable energy, shifting from screens shrouded in black to dousing actors in a nauseum-inducing yellowish light that works wonders in a movie about death. The scenes again jump to other people — a young man in Hong Kong, a Japanese man on a plane and a model in London — who play small but important roles in unraveling the origin of this deadly mystery. The scariest part of “Contagion” is not that a virus killed 26 million people. Instead, it’s in the simplicity in how it does it. There are no flesh-eating zombies or terrorist cells waging war. It just like the flu, only deadlier. Those trying to stem the tide of ever-increasing deaths are Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne), a deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; field doctor Erin Mears (Kate Winslet); C.D.C. doctors Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle) and David Eisenberg (Demetri Martin);

and World Health Organization doctor Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard). In what could be considered a stinging rebuke to the free-form nature of blogging and its effect on the Fourth Estate, one of the main antagonist is San Francisco blogger Alan Krumwiede (a snaggledtooth Jude Law), an opportunist who both follows the pandemic from its beginning and pushes a holistic cure, forsythia (a yellow flowering plant used in traditional Chinese medicine), on his popular blog. It’s a dangerous game he plays, using his forum of choice as a bully pulpit to rage against what he considers an unscrupulous government only seeking to pad its coffers (even though the government is actually the good guy here). Fear is a powerful emotion, and more often than not it causes more hardship than any actual danger. “Contagion” epitomizes this. It simultaneously shows us the best and worst sides of ourselves, pitting those lending a helpful hand against those who’d rob from you without a second thought. The scary part is not knowing which side will win out. Four infectious stars out of five, and a critic’s choice.


Dominic Baez is the copy editor/paginator for the East Oregonian. Follow his movie blog, Silver Screening, for the latest trailers, clips and extras at

Sunday, September 11, 2011



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