SIGNATURE SIGONELLA, SICILY
VOL. 29 NO. 6
Do you drive a GOV?
Jaguar coach scores All-Navy coaching position
Government owned vehicle misuse continues to be problematic in Sigonella
BY MC2 MATTHEW C. HAWS NAS Sigonella Public Affairs
If you drive a government owned vehicle (GOV) on a regular basis, make sure you are aware of the rules. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Matthew C. Haws)
BY LT ANDREW M. LEYONMARK NAS Sigonella Public Works
he Sigonella Girls Jaguar’s Basketball Team has a fresh new outlook on the season with their newly appointed All-Navy Women’s League Basketball Coach Tonya Strowbridge. Not new to coaching, Strowbridge has many years of experience and is bringing new strategies to the game of basketball. “It’s been a great honor to be selected for the Navy-Wide Women’s team,” said Tonya Strowbridge. “I’ve always wanted to coach college basketball, so this has been a great opportunity and a stepping stone for me.” The All-Navy Coach position is a part the Armed Force Sports Organization that plays against other branches of service. Each year there is an annual application process for the All-Navy Coach position and very few are lucky enough to be selected for the position. “All branches of service put in applications to play for this team and I think coaching in this position will bring more versatility back to the courts here in Sigonella,” said Strowbridge. I think this year with the talent we have we’re shooting for division three.” Strowbridge is more than just a coach to the girls on the court; she also takes the time to mentor the girls and show them how to bring the same level of intensity and positive attitude to every game. For returning team member Deeanna Brown, Strowbridge has been an inspiration to her personally and athletically. “I’ve never had a coach that I’ve been that close to before,” said Brown. “I first started playing for her last year and she has inspired me to change my outlook about myself and basketball. As a team captain she has really helped my overall performance and confidence on the court. Every team has ups and downs and when its time to play she really pushes us. I’m really thankful for her.” Strowbridge hopes to be selected again next year for the All-Navy Women’s coaching position and plans to continue pushing the Sigonella Jaguars into the European Championships. The Armed Forces Sports Program includes 18 Armed Forces Championships, seven National Championships and 20 International Championships within Counseil International du Sports Militaire (CISM). The program is open to all Active Duty personnel, to include Reservists and National Guard on active duty status.
OF THE WEEK
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
All-Navy Womens Basketball Coach, Tonya Strowbridge, brings the Sigonella Jaguars together for a pre-game play discussion against Naples. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Matthew C. Haws/Released)
Sicilian blood oranges are in season!
It’s carnival time in Acireale!
Fitness - the new international language
Dermatologist Dr. Trafeli discusses the health benefits.
Go behind the scenes with a local float maker.
Guest writer and MWR Personal Trainer learns more than expected.
Scan for direct links to NAS Sigonella
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s some of you may remember, just a year ago Sigonella was a fairly quiet base supporting a few Italian Atlantiques, as well as a U.S. P-3 or two and a small assortment of other aircraft and rotational passengers. While our overall mission of providing support to NATO, Sixth Fleet, and combatant commanders has not changed, the way in which Sigonella has provided world-class support across the spectrum to the warfighter has been at the forefront of successful operations in and around the Mediteranean – and has been praised by the U.S., NATO and Coalition leaders alike. Over the past year, this community has supported operations in Libya, assisted in the at-sea rescue of 68 people off the coast of Malta and most recently, supported the return and reintegration of former American and Danish hostages from Somalia. These efforts may represent the critical future role that Sigonella will likely play in various operations, but it more accurately reflects the outstanding professionalism and remarkable devotion to mission accomplishment by all of you. I couldn’t be prouder to serve alongside each of you! As you may have noticed, our community is playing host to many NATO mem-
These are exciting times for Sigonella and for Sicily. I cannot predict with any degree of certainty how fast some of the changes will occur; however, I am ever more confident that significant and positive changes are coming our way. There is every reason for the entire community to be proud of what we’ve achieved – together – and to look forward with great anticipation to the challenges that lie ahead.
ETD Culinary Specialist receives special recognition
bers, who have once again returned to Sicily for exercise PROUD MANTA 2012. This annual exercise is one of the largest in the Med and includes units from 11 different nations. While here, they will operate around the clock and train to some of the most difficult maritime missions imaginable – and they’ll be able to do that thanks to NASSIG support. In addition to the visiting NATO members, NASSIG has also hosted recent visits by decision makers at the strategic level, and the future of Sigonella seems pretty bright. Our strategic location, and our demonstrated ability to carry out any mission, is leading a new generation of military leaders to the realization that NAS Sigonella truly is the “Hub of the Med … ” and should continue as such. While each new mission will bring its own new challenges, it will also bring new opportunities. Sigonella has come a long way in a short period of time, but it’s important to recognize that we’re in an historic transitional period in the base’s existence. As U.S. leaders shift focus to a Naval force that is increasingly forward deployed, it is increasingly likely that Sigonella will be called upon as the premier support site in the region.
CS2 Donn Sinsay was recently awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal personally from Admiral Samuel J. Locklear (Commander, Naval forces Europe and Africa), recognizing CS2 Sinsay for all of his hard work during Locklear’s tenure. CS2 Sinsay is attached to Executive Transport Detachment (ETD) "CATBIRD" Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella. CS2 Sinsay prepares all in-flight meals for Locklear and his staff while they are on board CATBIRD during missions with the utmost professionalism and outstanding customer service. Petty Officer Sinsay continues to be a vital part of ETD's mission in support of Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa. A job well done, CS2 Donn Sinsay!! (U.S. Navy photo by AWFC Edward B. Trembath)
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Do you have someone in your command that has been recognized for exemplary work? Let us know! Send a photo and information to The Signature at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Roses are red … but so are Sicilian blood oranges BY CDR JOHN PAUL TRAFELI, MD Dermatologist, Navy Hospital Sigonella, Naples, Rota
hile a rose is beautiful to look at; you can’t eat it, and it does have thorns. Maybe that’s why we give roses on Valentine’s Day. After all, every relationship has a few thorns. There is something else red and beautiful in Sicily … the blood orange. Blood oranges are a magical fruit, nothing like their more boring cousins, the “orange” orange. Famous in Sicily, blood oranges thrive on the volcanic soils of Mount Etna. Here the perfect balance of soil, sun, and temperature fluctuation make the fruit sweet and gives the brilliant deep red color. Sigonella lies directly in the heart of this region. There are three main blood orange varieties in the Catania area. The most abundant variety is the Tarocco, with mixed ‘orange’ predominant flesh with highlights of red. Often referred to as the “half blood orange” due to its heavy orange color, it is more like a Florida orange. It is also the most popular table orange of Italy and is very sweet. However, due to only moderate red color, it is my least favorite. My personal favorite, the Moro, is smaller with the deepest red colored flesh, with juice like a fine burgundy wine. Originating from Siracusa, it accounts for a smaller proportion of the blood orange production. It is more berrylike in flavor, though it mixes great with regular orange juice if you want to sweeten it up. It’s the one highest in antioxidants. The Sanguinello orange (In Italian, Sangue = blood) is what most Sicilians that I’ve spoken with call any blood orange (or Sanguinella). The sanguinello is a good compromise between the more orange, Tarocco, and the deeper red Moro, and likely the source of the name Sigonella. So why is a dermatologist talking about blood oranges? Be-
cause the red color of the fruit comes from Anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. Anthocyanin can also be found in other dark red fruits such as pomegranates, cherries, blackberries, and blueberries. Anthocyanins help protect the plant from free radical damage. Remember, plants spend their entire lives outdoors and need protection from the sun, too! Free radicals destroy healthy cells and damage cellular DNA. In humans, anthocyanin has been shown to be helpful in With its mixed ‘orange’ color and highlights of red, Tarocco is often referred to as the “half blood a host of health issues: anti- orange.” It is the most popular table orange of Italy and is very sweet. (U.S. Navy photo by MR2 inflammation, anti-choleste- Gary Spence/Released) rol effects, cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, control of pical “orange” oranges. To a dermatologist this means diminudiabetes, anti-bacterial properties, cognition (aging changes to tion of the effects of the sun and unhealthy living on skin aging. the brain), protection against radiation effects (both from the I find it interesting that many people spend a fortune on antisun and in those undergoing radiotherapy for cancer), age re- wrinkle creams that don’t work, while the best anti-oxidant is lated eye disease…and more. The bottom line is that anything growing on the orange tree next to your house in Sicily, for next that causes oxidation and free radical formation in tissue, whe- to nothing! Life is great here in Sicily, so take advantage of it while yother from sunbathing or smoking is bad. We may be able to decrease cellular damage by taking in u’re here, and when possible, drink the real stuff - the blood adequate amount of anti-oxidant foods, such as blood oranges. orange juice of Sicily. Blood oranges are one of the greatest Additionally, blood oranges have more vitamin C than the ty- foods on the earth, both in taste and in health benefits.
NMCB 5 departs NAS Sigonella After six months performing maintenance and construction projects for the base BY LT ANDREW M. LEYONMARK NAS Sigonella Public Works
or the last six months, Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella has been hosting a Seabee detachment from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5. The battalion deployed to Rota in Aug. 2011, relieving NMCB 74 and the 23-man detachment, led by Lt.j.g. Lauren Bueler, and arrived in Sicily shortly thereafter. During their stay, the Seabees performed a number of maintenance and construction projects for the base as tasked by the Public Works Department (PWD). The detachment was initially sent to NAS Sigonella to maintain the 550-man BEAR Tent Camp which was occupied by Coalition forces during Operation Unified Protector. Daily maintenance included upkeep of the environmental control units (ECUs), wastewater removal, plumbing work, and filling water bladders for showers, laundry and latrines. Upon completion of the operation in September, the detachment was heavily involved in the tear-down, packout, and transportation of all camp assets to Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for shipment back to Germany. Once the tents and collateral equipment were removed from the site, the detachment’s equipment operators and construction mechanics cleared debris from the area, removed underground utility lines and leveled out the area using graders. In addition to their work on the BEAR camp, the detachment also performed some construction work for the base. Shortly after their arrival, they began working on a renovation project for the NAS II Water Treatment Plant in which they replaced a dilapidated 30’ x 45’ concrete slab in building 477. The project was completed in Oct. The new slab enabled the building to be used as a parts warehouse for the Water Treatment Plant and NAS II water distribution system. In another project, the Seabees built a one-meter tall Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) wall around the NAS II Waste Water Treatment Plant’s drying bed. The drying bed is used to allow leftover sludge from the sewage digesters to dry into solids so that it can be hauled away by waste removal contractors. Flooding is common at the plant during the rainy season and results in severe sanitation problems. The new retention wall alleviates these concerns by providing additional containment during routine deluges. The detachment also worked on a number of other tasks including clearing the berm behind the runway, renovating the Seabee Det spaces, and the installation of two new concrete pads at
NMCB 5 Seabees pour a concrete pad for the Military Working Dog (MWD) kenne1.
the Military Working Dog Kennel and Armory. Golans and mobile storage lockers were placed on top of the pads for unexploded ordinance (UXO) and storage purposes, requiring the pads to have a lightning protection grid installed during construction. NAS Sigonella and the Public Works Department extend their gratitude to the men and women of NMCB 5 Det Sigonella for their hard work. They have left their positive mark on Sigonella by completing projects that would have been far more costly and difficult to fund without them. PWD would also like to congratulate CE3 Jonathan Brackin, CM3 Michelle Poloway, EOCN Matthew Barton, UTCN Jose Jimenez, BU3 Nabil Rodriguez, BU3 Beatriz Segoviano, and Lt.j.g. Lauren Bueler, all of whom earned their Seabee Combat Warfare Qualifications during their stay in Sigonella. NMCB 5 has already begun their turnover with NMCB 3 and will leave the island before the end of Feb. Fair winds and following seas.
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FFSC can be reached at x4291 American Red Cross at x4900 Does your command or organization have an event youâ€™d like to see on the Community Calendar? Does your command or organization have an event youâ€™d like to see on the Community Calendar? Email us at email@example.com and let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
Need an appointment at the hospital? Call DSN 624CARE (2273) or commercial 095-56-2273, M-F: 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. for same-day or nextday appointments. For non-emergent medical questions that arise over the weekend, a holiday or after office hours, please call 335578-8077 if you are normally seen at the hospital or 335578-8150 if you are normally seen at the Flight Line Clinic.
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Fleet and Family Support Center Administration Building Bldg. 319 (NAS I)
Downtime after deployment: Tips for service members BY KIM WILSON About.com
perating under the constant threat of injury or death for prolonged periods of time takes its toll. After months of living in a high-threat situation, your deployment is over and you're back to living a relatively safe life. Here are a few tips to make your adjustment easier. • Limiting parties and visitors is okay. Upon your return, well-meaning friends and relatives may want to throw numerous "welcome home" parties. After months of being surrounded by large groups of people, some service members coming off deployment look forward to having low-key interaction with others, often preferring to spend the first few days with immediate family only. A revolving door of visitors is the last thing they want to encounter. Don't feel guilty if this is your wish. Explain your desires to your spouse. Often, your wife or husband will be your greatest supporter for the mere fact that they too crave alone-time with you. • Solitude. Time alone to reflect on the past, enjoy the now and prepare for the future is important to many service members. Some Veterans enjoy taking a stroll through the local park, drinking in the beauty of the land they've sworn to protect and defend. Others prefer driving through the quiet countryside. Whether it's fishing, reading or watching a movie without being combat-ready, don't hesitate to embrace moments of solitude. If you're concerned your spouse won't understand your need to get away, there's a good chance your worry is a moot point. Remember, your spouse has your best interests at heart. The odds are good they'll not only support your request, but inform you that they need a few moments alone too. • Seeing the world through the eyes of others. After
living in harsh conditions and engaging in combat operations, spending time with a young child often proves cathartic for returning service members. Watching your daughter chase butterflies or your son stomp his feet in a mud puddle are excellent reminders of simplicity and carefree living. Viewing the world through the innocent eyes of a child may ease your tension and help you unwind. • Relaxed expectations. After months of adhering to strict schedules, being on constant alert and sometimes hyper-alert levels, you may have difficulty adjusting to a looser routine. Unwittingly you treat family outings the same as running missions. "We'll SP the house at zeroeight-hundred, RP at the amusement park at zero-eightthirty and conduct operation 'mandatory fun' with an endex at seventeen-hundred hours…" A flexible schedule for family outings is fine. Strict SP's and RP's are not. Don't be too hard on yourself if you unintentionally start barking orders, only to realize the mistake after the words leave your mouth. Often, an apology followed by a brief explanation will suffice. Tell your family that for the past year people have depended on you to make decisions and you've depended on them to follow. If you haven't yet experienced this common situation, you may want to give your family a heads up. Inform them that on occasion you might revert into military mode and accidentally speak to them using the same manner and tone that you'd use with your fellow service members. It's perfectly acceptable to request their patience during your time of transition. How you spend your downtime is entirely up to you. Don't feel obligated to accept every incoming invitation or accommodate every demand made by others. The opportunity to rejuvenate, however you see fit, is available. All you need to do is claim the time. For more Deployment Support information please visit the FFSC on NAS 1 Bldg 319 or call us at 624-4291.
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Tosca opens at the Bellini Opera
(Photo by http://www.opera3000.net)
Obama praises Italian leader's economic efforts
omanian soprano Cellia Costea sings the title role of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca which made its triumphant debut last night at the Catania Bellini Opera Catania earning a warm applause from an enthusiastic audience. This new production from Bellini Opera is directed by Giovanni Anfuso. Music Director Giuliano Carella Will Humburg conducts the Bellini Opera Orchestra. Chorus is directed by Tiziana Carlini. As reported by zweifel.com, Tosca, which had its premiere in Rome in January, 1900, followed Puccini’s very successful La Boheme by almost exactly four years. It is based on the French play La Tosca of Victorien Sardou, which appeared in 1887. Tosca takes place in the span of 17 hours, from noon on June 16, 1800 until 5:00 a.m. the following day. Tosca performances continue through Saturday, Feb. 25. For further information and tickets visit http://www.teatromassimobellini.it/
President Barack Obama last Thursday heaped praise on Mario Monti in a meeting in the Oval Office, saying the Italian prime minister has instilled confidence not just in Italy but in world financial markets. Obama, after his first meeting with Monti, said the prime minister is off to a "good start" as he encouraged Italy and the rest of Europe to install a strong firewall to deal with any future financial crises. (Photo by Associated Press)
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — Eager for Europe to contain its economic troubles, President Barack Obama praised Italian Premier Mario Monti on Thursday for his efforts to lead Italy out of its fiscal quagmire. The president said Monti has boosted confidence in Italy throughout Europe and in the marketplace. Obama said he appreciated Monti's "strong start" at the helm of the European nation. Monti, who replaced Silvio Berlusconi in November, inherited a massive national debt and international pressure to pull Italy out of its troubles. Since then, the Yale University-educated economist has won acclaim for his initial steps, including budget cuts, tax increases and eased regulations. Obama said Monti has reassured the international community that "Italy has a plan that takes seriously its fiscal responsibilities, but also emphasizes the need for structural reforms that can promote growth." The president had kept his distance from Berlusconi as the Italian leader battled endless sex scandals and corruption trials while the country's economy crumbled, but he's welcomed Monti's arrival. Rome is going ahead with sanctions on Iranian oil purchases and has moved in lockstep with Washington on policy toward Syria, withdrawing its ambassador Tuesday, as America did. Monti is on a U.S. visit to promote his economic agenda and attract investors as he seeks to reduce Italy's $2.5 trillion debt. Monti has said all Italians must make sacrifices and has renounced his own salary as premier and economy minister. But he faces a tough battle as taxi drivers, pharmacists, truck drivers and others from sectors he is seeking to liberalize have staged angry strikes. Italy's small business lobbies have stifled the country's economy by blocking competition, keeping work hours short and perpetuating inefficiencies in business practices. "I just want to say how much we appreciate the strong start that he has embarked on and the very effective measures that he is promoting inside of Italy," Obama said. Monti, seated at Obama's side in the Oval Office, said
the changes he has promoted, however painful they have been in the short term, appear to be accepted by the Italian public. He said Obama's supportive words "are an encouragement for my government to persist along these lines." The two leaders also discussed the Middle East and upcoming economic and NATO summits in Chicago. Obama thanked Monti for Italian assistance in Afghanistan and for the role Italy played in enforcing a new fly zone over Libya that ultimately resulted in toppling strongman Moammar Gadhafi. The meeting came as Greece's political leaders struck a deal Thursday to make deep cuts in government spending to avert a default that could reverberate across the world financial system. The European debt crisis poses a significant threat to the United States and its modest economic recovery. With the fate of the euro in the balance, Obama has been watching developments in Europe warily. Speaking to reporters at the end of his meeting with Monti, Obama reiterated his call for Europe to create a large enough financial "firewall" to prevent any one European nation's crisis from spreading. In written responses to questions posed by the Italian newspaper La Stampa published Thursday, Obama said European and U.S. economic fortunes are "inextricably linked." "When Europe is doing well, it's good for American jobs and businesses," Obama said. "When growth in Europe slows or your financial markets are unsettled, we feel the consequences, just as you felt the impact of the U.S. financial crisis four years ago. Earlier, speaking at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, Monti said the economic troubles have forced the EU to confront some of its structural problems and fix them. He predicted that the euro zone will grow over the next few years. "I don't see countries leaving, I see countries coming in," Monti said.
TOSCA PLOT: ACT I. Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, rushes into the church of Sant' Andrea della Valle to hide in the Attavanti chapel. As he vanishes, an old Sacristan shuffles in, praying at the sound of the Angelus. Mario Cavaradossi enters to work on his portrait of Mary Magdalene - inspired by the Marchesa Attavanti (Angelotti's sister), whom he has seen but does not know. Taking out a miniature of the singer Floria Tosca, he compares her raven beauty with that of the blonde Magdalene ("Recondita armonia"). The Sacristan grumbles disapproval and leaves. Angelotti ventures out and is recognized by his friend and fellow liberal Mario, who gives him food and hurries him back into the chapel as Tosca is heard calling outside. Forever suspicious, she jealously questions him, then prays, and reminds him of their rendezvous that evening at his villa ("Non la sospiri la nostra casetta?"). Suddenly recognizing the Marchesa Attavanti in the painting, she explodes with renewed suspicions, but he reassures her ("Qual' occhio al mondo"). When she has gone, Mario summons Angelotti from the chapel; a cannon signals that the police have discovered the escape, so the two flee to Mario's villa. Meanwhile, the Sacristan returns with choirboys who are to sing in a Te Deum that day. Their excitement is silenced by the entrance of Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, in search of Angelotti. When Tosca comes back to her lover, Scarpia shows her a fan with the Attavanti crest, which he has just found. Thinking Mario faithless, Tosca tearfully vows vengeance and leaves as the church fills with worshipers. Scarpia, sending his men to follow her to Angelotti, schemes to get the diva in his power ("Va, Tosca!"). ACT II. In the Farnese Palace, Scarpia anticipates the sadistic pleasure of bending Tosca to his will ("Ha piĂš forte sapore"). The spy Spoletta arrives, not having found Angelotti; to placate the baron he brings in Mario, who is interrogated while Tosca is heard singing a cantata at a royal gala downstairs. She enters just as her lover is being taken to an adjoining room: his arrogant silence is to be broken under torture. Unnerved by Scarpia's questioning and the sound of Mario's screams, she reveals Angelotti's hiding place. Mario is carried in; realizing what has happened, he turns on Tosca, but the officer Sciarrone rushes in to announce that Napoleon has won the Battle of Marengo, a defeat for Scarpia's side. Mario shouts his defiance of tyranny ("Vittoria!") and is dragged to prison. Scarpia, resuming his supper, suggests that Tosca yield herself to him in exchange for her lover's life. Fighting off his embraces, she protests her fate to God, having dedicated her life to art and love ("Vissi d'arte"). Scarpia again insists, but Spoletta interrupts: faced with capture, Angelotti has killed himself. Tosca, forced to give in or lose her lover, agrees to Scarpia's proposition. The baron pretends to order a mock execution for the prisoner, after which he is to be freed; Spoletta leaves. No sooner has Scarpia written a safe-conduct for the lovers than Tosca snatches a knife from the table and kills him. Wrenching the document from his stiffening fingers and placing candles at his head and a crucifix on his chest, she slips from the room. ACT III. The voice of a shepherd boy is heard as church bells toll the dawn. Mario awaits execution at the Castel Sant'Angelo; he bribes the jailer to convey a farewell note to Tosca. Writing it, overcome with memories of love, he gives way to despair ("E lucevan le stelle"). Suddenly Tosca runs in, filled with the story of her recent adventures. Mario caresses the hands that committed murder for his sake ("O dolci mani"), and the two hail their future. As the firing squad appears, the diva coaches Mario on how to fake his death convincingly; the soldiers fire and depart. Tosca urges Mario to hurry, but when he fails to move, she discovers that Scarpia's treachery has transcended the grave: the bullets were real. When Spoletta rushes in to arrest Tosca for Scarpia's murder, she cries to Scarpia to meet her before God, then leaps to her death. (Opera News)
English: How much does the cheapest ticket cost? Italian : Quanto costa il biglietto piĂš economico? English : At what time does the opera begin? Italian : A che ora comincia l'opera? English : How many operas would be performed this season? Italian : Quante opere verranno rappresentate in questa stagione?
Learn these useful Italian phrases to make attending the opera more fun!
English : The plot and libretto for this opera are fantastic! Italian : La trama ed il librĂ¨tto di questa opera sono fantastici! English : Will you take me to my seat, please? Italian: Mi accompagnerebbe al mio posto, per favore? English : What is the name of the soprano? Italian: Come si chiama il soprano?
Gasoline prices climb even higher: Family of mafia-informant suicide Truckers were already up in arms arrested, Ex-'Ndrangheta woman about fuel costs drank acid in August BY ANSA Rome - Italy's major petrol companies raised their prices further on Wednesday in a move that is set to hit motorists and truckers hard.The price of green petrol was up to 1.80 euros at Tamoil gas stations, while the price of diesel came close to 1.74 euros a litre at TotalErg, following increases in prices on the international market earlier this week. Italy's lorry drivers were already up in arms about high gas prices and they staged a week of strikes and protests, including road blocks, last month demanding the government reduce fuel duties and tolls. The protests caused major traffic disruption, hit food supplies and caused fuel shortages in some areas. Consumer associations Federconsumatori and Adusbef said the new increases meant patrol prices had gone up nine euro cents since the start of the year. The associations also called on the government to control more closely how the petrol companies set their prices to avoid what they described as the "intolerable speculation that often takes pace in the sector".
Police bust Italian-Dutch drugs ring, Gang smuggled up 50 kilos of narcotics a week BY ANSA Turin - Police said on Wednesday that they had arrested 27 people and busted a ring capable of smuggling up to 50 kilos of drugs a week from the Netherlands to Italy. The people were arrested in raids overnight and early on Wednesday in the northern Italian region of Piedmont and one person was detained in the Dutch city of Helmond. Police suspect many other people were involved in the ring and a total 54 people have been reported to prosecutors because they are suspected of wrongdoing. Officers seized a gun and 280 kilos of hashish, marijuana and cocaine destined for the Turin drugs market after searching over 30 properties. Investigators said wiretaps showed the gang were even willing to sell drugs that were potentially harmful because they had got wet while being transported.
BY ANSA Reggio Calabria - The family of an informant against the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia who committed suicide last year were arrested last Thursday for allegedly pressuring her to take her life. Maria Concetta Cacciola, 31, drank acid on August 31, three months after beginning to provide "significant" information to investigators, police said. Her parents and brother have been taken into custody on suspicion of using "insistent threats and callous insults" in an alleged "campaign" that resulted in her suicide.
Italy tax-dodge curb with US, UK, France, Germany, Spain: Deal will intensify the fight against international tax evasion BY ANSA Rome - Italy has agreed with the United States, the United Kingdom,France, Germany and Spain to use the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to hunt international tax dodgers. The move will "intensify the fight against international tax evasion," the Italian economy ministry said, vowing to find more and better ways to trade information. The Italian government has launched a highprofile campaign against tax dodgers.
Carabinieri patrolman murders wife, commits suicide in Palermo BY LA SICILIA Palermo - Rinaldo D'Alba, a 39-year-old Carabinieri patrolman murdered his 37-year-old wife with five gun-shots before turning the gun on himself inside a Carabinieri barrack in Palermo. The murder-suicide happened last Tuesday. The policeman had asked his wife, from whom he had been separated for a while, for a clarification meeting at the Carabinieri barrack but the argument degenerated into violence. One of the two daughters (aged 11 and 5) who were in the house at the time of the murder broke into the bedroom and called the emergency services.
Minister sorry for saying Italians want jobs near 'mamma': Cancellieri admits she seemed to show lack of respect BY ANSA
Rome - Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri apologised last Tuesday after causing a storm by saying many Italians just wanted steady jobs near to "mamma and papa". "I used a bad expression which sounded like a lack of respect," Cancellieri, a leading member of Premier Mario Monti's emergency government of technocrats, told left-wing daily L'Unita'. "That wasn't my intention," she added after angering students and union leaders. "But there is a culture in which people find it hard to go far from home. Yes, there are young people who are ready to go anywhere. But others are still attached to old models that no longer exist". Cancellieri's inflammatory comments were made with the government currently in talks with unions on labour-market reforms to make it easier for young people and women to find jobs. The government seems intent on changing Italy's firing laws to make it easier for firms to dismiss workers, a move it says will encourage companies to hire people, and offer more and better benefits for people out of work. The unions are staunchly opposed to changing the firing laws. Cancellieri's contribution to the labour-market debate comes after Monti caused a furore last week by saying steady jobs for life do not exist any more and are "monotonous" anyway. Furthermore, last month Junior Labour Minister Michel Martone said students who had not graduated by the time they were 28 were "losers". Young Italian people seem to have limited opportunities on the job market, with 31% aged 15-24 out of work, according to national statistics agency ISTAT.
Acireale carnival papier-mâché floats Go behind the scenes with float designer Luciano Scalia BY JACKIE TREMBATH NAS Sigonella Public Affairs
t’s carnival time in Acireale! Amazing allegoric and flower float parades, masks, costumes and live music enthrall the thousands of spectators who attend the festival every year. Before the papier-mâché floats make their way down the streets of Acireale, float designers dream them up. Themes are allegoric and usually relate to political or recent news' events or even to the "best joke in town" among float designers. The floats not only have vivid colors and shapes but also use an advanced system of lighting to bring them to life. Luciano Scalia, a professional urban setting and theatre designer and an Acireale Town Council member passionate about building floats has participated in the carnival floats construction for years. “It takes about six months to make a float,” said Scalia. “Ten papier-mâché floats makers compete for the best design. The first place winner takes home 37,000 euros.” For Scalia it is more about the artistry behind making the floats than the prize incentive, although 37,000 is a nice prize. Introduced to float making by his father-inlaw, Scalia has since passed the tradition down to his son. Not all float designers are professional craftsmen like Scalia. Most are Acireale residents who belong to local cultural associations and enjoy keeping the ancient tradition of float making alive. Acireale is the second Italian city for such a tradition. The most renowned in both Italy and Europe is held in Viareggio, a Tuscan city in Italy. History of the floats' tradition As reported by carnevaleacireale.com, the idea of the first allegorical floats was developed under Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Sicily saw its first allegorical float in March of 1601 in Palermo. The float resembled Neptune (god of the Sea), and had people dressed up as sirens dancing around it. In Acireale, although the use of papiermâché was widely used for the realization of sanctuary statues, the first float wasn’t seen for a whole century afterwards. This occurred thanks to local artisans of whom Sebastiano Longo (1839-1912) was one of; he began working with papier-mâché with the intention of creating the first allegorical float around 1880. From then on into the last century many groups of artisans have entered the float making competition, and have given life to the Acireale Carnival allowing it to carry the title of “the most beautiful carnival in Sicily”.
Construction by Jackie Trem
Experience the tradition for yourself. Don’t miss the float parades!
Standing in front of one of his float designs, Luciano Scalia, a professional urban setting and theatre designer and an Acireale Town Council member has been participating in the floats construction for several years. (U.S. Navy photo by Jackie Trembath/Released)
• Saturday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m. • Sunday, Feb. 19, 11 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. • Monday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m. • Tuesday, Feb. 21, Noon. Grand finale at 4 p.m. Fireworks and "King of Carnival" puppet's bonfire or Rogo del re Carnevale at 11:30 p.m.
Float Performance Locations: • Piazza Duomo • Porta Gusmana • Incrocio corso Savoia - corso Italia • Villa Belvedere (public gardens) • Piazza Garibaldi
Float Route: The floats parades begin at the Piazza Duomo (main square) and continue through corso Savoia, corso Italia and corso Umberto.
For more information and detailed schedules, call Acireale Tourist office at 095-895111 or visit them online at www.comune.acireale.ct.it/
The papier-mâ Trembath/Re
The papier-mâché floats are worked on and stored in large garages. They are such a popular attraction that children from local schools often come to see them. (U.S. Navy photo by Jackie Trembath/Released)
n begins with a frame that papier-mâché is then applied to. (U.S. Navy photo mbath/Released)
âché is painted by hand often with vibrant colors. (U.S. Navy photo by Jackie eleased)
The floats make their debut during the Acireale carnival amongst thousands of spectators. The advanced lighting systems make them even more spectacular. (Photo by LS1 Michael Lee)
The international language of fitness
Almost 100 runners participated in the Base 2 Base series run BY MR2 Gary Spence NAS Sigonella Public Affairs
Erin Work is an MWR Personal Trainer and certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer with experience in Olympic lifting, strength and conditioning, endurance, yoga, pilates, and nutrition.
Stupid Cupid 5K
An Olympic lifting certification seminar in Parma, Italy teaches more than expected
t has been said that music is the international language. That may be so, but at a recent weekend Olympic lifting certification seminar in Parma, Italy, I discovered the international language of fitness. Training took place at CrossFit Parma, an Italian CrossFit affiliate, and was attended by mostly Italian participants. The certification staff was American. As with most endeavors in the fitness realm, this seminar was not cheap. I was immediately impressed by the motivation to learn and sheer bravery of the participants attending the seminar. One participant from Paris spoke neither English nor Italian, yet paid good money to attend the class with the faith that a highly skilled staff, copious gestures and the international language of fitness would carry him through. He was right. Despite the language difference, neither tension nor frustration deterred anyone from learning and advancing. Although a skilled translator was always quick to help out during the training, not every word was translated. One element often lost in translation was the conversion of pounds to kilograms. Fellow Americans and I lift in pounds. Everyone else in the world, including CrossFit Parma, lifts in kilograms. My quick mental translation was to assess a weighted bar, double the number of kilograms, and assume that that was somewhere near the amount in pounds. However, since the actual conversion is about 1 pound to 2.2 kilograms, my quick mental estimation always came up short. On more than one occasion, an American would complete a lift with a weight that he thought was close to
something he’d lifted before, only to do the math afterwards and realize that he’d inadvertently exceeded his previous personal record! (Further proof of the mental aspect of fitness and what one can achieve when s/he gets out of his/her own head.) Throughout the weekend, participants were required to break off into small groups or pair up. The few American participants were met with nothing short of whole hearted inclusiveness. We were all so incredibly united over our shared interest and a drive to learn that it never occurred to us to let our different languages present a barrier. My favorite experience happened on Monday, after the weekend seminar. My two fellow “Sigonellans” and I had a late flight, so we were able to attend an early class at CrossFit Parma. The two trainers spoke English, but the regular class participants did not. Having not attended the weekend seminar, they had no idea who we were. Regardless, they welcomed us into their group. We lifted together – helping each other load kilograms onto the bar, cheering each other on. We all performed a timed workout in which, working all at the same time, we had 12 minutes to complete as many rounds as we could of three different exercises. When the buzzer rang, we all collapsed momentarily and then happily exchanged high fives and compliments on hard work well done. Through a shared interest in fitness, we were no longer “Americans” or “Italians,” but people – people striving toward superior health and fitness, a drive that transcends both language and cultural bounds.
n Saturday, Feb. 11, NAS I was host to the Stupid Cupid 5K, race #6 in the Base 2 Base series. The morning broke cold and drizzly - a day better suited to staying curled up in bed. But that did not deter approximately 95 runners from coming out to take on this challenge. Everyone was out for their own reasons. Some came to challenge their own fitness levels or to enjoy some friendly competition. Others came to celebrate Valentine’s Day or just to spend time amongst friends. Registration opened at 7:30 a.m. By 8 a.m. race time, the light rain had moved on leaving a pleasant yet chilly morning for the runners. Jason Black, a senior at Sigonella High School, was first to cross the finish
Some Stupid Cupid race participants showed their Valentine’s Day spirit in creative ways. (U.S. Navy photo by MR2 Gary Spence/Released)
line leaving a sizeable gap between the rest of the field. The final Base 2 Base race, a 7.6 mile run, will be held on March 17. Awards will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in all age categories (runners only): Military Male, Military Female and Overall Runner. For more information, contact either fitness center at x4483 or x5243.
Sigonella High School senior Jason Black was the first to finish theStupid Cupid 5K race on Saturday, Feb. 11. (U.S. Navy photo by MR2 Gary Spence/Released)
Friday, 17 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Grilled Sausage Links, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Waffles, Asstd Doughnuts, Apple Fritters. *Lunch: New England Clam Chowder, Fried/Baked Pollok Fish, Pasta al Forno , Mushroom Gravy, Steamed Rice, Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Steamed Asparagus, Fried Cauliflower, Lemon Cookies, Cheese Cake, Chocolate Cream Pudding. Speed line: Grilled Cheese/Hamburger, Baked Beans, French Fried Potatoes. *Dinner: Cream Of Mushroom Soup, Cantonese Spareribs, Sandwich, Pork Fried Rice, Steamed Whole Corn, Seasoned Spinach, Lemon Cookies, Cheese Cake, Chocolate Cream Pudding.
Tuesday, 21 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Farina, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Waffles, Biscuits and Gravy, Asstd Doughnuts, Blueberry Muffins. *Lunch: Cream of Asparagus Soup, BBQ Spareribs, Southern Fried Chicken, Chicken Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Hopping John, Corn on the Cob, Southern Style Greens, Jalapeno Corn Bread, German Chocolate Cake, Cherry Pie. *Speed line: Corn Dog, Onion Rings. Dinner: Beef Rice Soup, Spaghetti w/ Meatballs, Lyonnaise Rice, Vegetable Stir Fry, Steamed Asparagus, Brown Gravy, German Chocolate Cake, Cherry Pie .
Saturday, 18 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Farina, Grilled Ham Slices, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Buttermilk Pancakes, Asstd Doughnuts, Butterhorns. *Brunch: Breakfast Items, Beef Vegetable Soup, Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, Mixed Vegetables, Broccoli, Sweet & Sour Sauce, Chocolate Drop Cookies, Apple Crisp. *Dinner: Manhattan Clam Chowder, El Rancho Stew, Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Gravy, Steamed Rice, Green Kale, Peas & Mushroom, Chocolate Drop Cookies, Apple Crisp.
Wednesday, 22 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Creamed Ground Beef, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Blueberry Pancakes, Asstd Doughnuts, Bear Claw. *Lunch: Beef Vegetable Soup, Breaded Pork Steaks, Savory Baked Chicken, Potatoes Au Gratin, Oriental Rice, Cauliflowers, Tangy Spinach, Cherry Cheese Cake, Chewy Nut Bars, Cream Puffs. *Speed line: Grilled Cheese/Hamburger, Baked Beans, French Fried Potatoes. *Dinner: Minestrone Soup, Salisbury Steak, Steamed Rice, Brown Gravy, Peas & Carrots, Wax Beans, Cherry Cheese Cake, Chewy Nut Bars, Cream Puffs.
Sunday, 19 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Grilled Minute Steak, Oven Fried Bacon, French Toast Puff, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Asstd Doughnuts, Kolaches. *Brunch: Breakfast Items, Bean & Bacon Soup, Breaded Pork Chop, Italian Roasted Potatoes, Seasoned Green Beans, Glazed Carrots, Yellow Cake w/ Frosting, Hermits. *Dinner: Split Pea Soup, Turkey Ala King, Aztec Rice, Black-eye Peas, Fried Cauliflower, Yellow Cake w/ Frosting, Hermits.
Thursday, 23 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Hominy Grits, Oven Fried Bacon, Corned Beef Hash, Asst Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, French Toast, Asstd Doughnuts, Raisin Muffin. *Lunch: Onion Soup, Asian Barbecue Turkey, Beef Stroganoff, Mashed Potatoes, Boiled Pasta, Chicken Gravy, Mix Vegetables, Simmered Cauliflower, Vanilla Cookies, Devil’s Food Cake. Speedline: Assorted Pizza, Chili Dog. Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup, Meat Loaf, Oven Browned Potatoes, Corn O’ Brien, Simmered Carrots, Vanilla Cookies, Devil’s Food Cake.
Monday, 20 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Hominy Grits, Minced Beef on Toast, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, French Toast, Asstd Doughnuts, Streusel Coffee Cake. *Brunch: Breakfast Items, Chicken Noodle Soup, Rosemary Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Seasoned Summer Squash, Steamed Peas, Turkey Gravy, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Banana Cake, Dutch Apple Pie. *Dinner: Pepper Pot Soup, Steak w/ Onions, Baked Chicken Quartered , Baked Potatoes, Collard Greens, Calico Cabbage, Brown Gravy, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Banana Cake, Dutch Apple Pie .
Friday, 24 FEB 12 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Grilled Sausage Links, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Waffles, Asstd Doughnuts, Cinnamon Rolls. *Lunch: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Lasagna, Tempura Fish, Baked Fish, Steamed Rice, Calico Cabbage, Herbed Broccoli, Strawberry Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Fruit Gelatin. Speed line: Grilled Cheese/Hamburger, Baked Beans, French Fried Potatoes. *Dinner: Egg Drop Soup, Chicken Cacciatore, Rice Pilaf, Southern Green Beans, Savory Squash, Strawberry Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Fruit Gelatin.
Escape with an alpine adventure: ITT Extended Trip to Edelweiss
WR wants to take you and your family on an alpine adventure in March! ITT is going to Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmish, Germany, a beautiful town in the Zugspitze Region of the Bavarian Alps. Edelweiss is the perfect place to enjoy time skiing, snowboarding or sledding in the powdery snow. They also offer outings that can be booked in advance. You can take a guided tour of Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle, the famous castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. Explore Swarovski Crystal World and the City of Innsbruck, Austria. Step into Germany’s dark history at Dachau Concentration Camp, or visit Munich at the top of the hour to watch the famous Glockenspiel
dancers and knights. ITT’s trip will give you six full days to hit the slopes, see the sights or just relax and enjoy the amazing view of the Alps that Edelweiss provides. The week’s activities are your choice! Round trip airline tickets are included in the price, plus transportation to and from Catania and Munich airports, lodging and an escort for the entire week. Excursions, dinners and massage therapy are offered by the Edelweiss Resort and may be booked at your convenience. The trip starts March 3rd and returns on the 10th. Visit ITT or call 624-4777 for more information. Find out about Edelweiss Lodge and Resort at www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com.
DARKEST HOUR……………………PG-13 STARRING: Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby
In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply. (1 hr 29 m) DEVIL INSIDE……………………R STARRING: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman Monday, February 20 – President’s Day PG 2:00 PM *Kung Fu Panda 2 PG 5:00 PM Journey 2 R 5:30 PM *Ides of March Tuesday, February 21 5:00 PM Hugo 5:30 PM MI: Ghost Protocol 7:30 PM *The Help 8:00 PM Safe House R Wednesday, February 22 5:00 PM Adventures of Tintin 5:30 PM Sherlock Holmes 2 7:30 PM *Transformers 3 8:00 PM Sitter Thursday, February 23 5:00 PM *Rango 5:30 PM Extremely Loud 7:30 PM *Rise of the Apes 8:00 PM Safe House R Friday, February 24 5:00 PM Journey 2 5:30 PM *Moneyball PG-13 7:30 PM Safe House 8:00 PM *Bridesmaids Saturday, February 25 2:00 PM We Bought A Zoo 2:30 PM *Rio 4:30 PM Extremely Loud 5:00 PM Girl With Dragon 7:30 PM Darkest Hour Sunday, February 26 2:00 PM Journey 2 2:30 PM Chipmunks 3 4:30 PM *Harry Potter 7, Pt 2 5:00 PM War Horse 7:30 PM Devil InsideR * FREE MOVIE
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In 1989, emergency responders received a 9-1-1 call from Maria Rossi confessing that she had brutally killed three people. 20 years later, her daughter Isabella seeks to understand the truth about what happened that night. She travels to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Italy where her mother has been locked away to determine if her mother is mentally ill or demonically possessed. When she recruits two young exorcists to cure her mom using unconventional methods combining both science and religion, they come face-to-face with pure evil in the form of four powerful demons possessing Maria. (1 hr 23 m) MONEYBALL……………………..………..PG-13 STARRING: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright and Jonah Hill
Billy Beane was once a would-be baseball superstar who, stung by the failure to live up to expectations on the field, turned his fiercely competitive nature to management. Heading into the 2002 season, Billy faces a dismal situation: his small-market Oakland A's have lost their star players (again) to big market clubs (and their enormous salaries) and is left to rebuild his team and compete with a third of their payroll. Driven to win, Billy takes on the system by challenging the fundamental tenants of the game. He looks outside of baseball, to the dismissed theories of Bill James, and hires Peter Brand, a brainy, number-crunching, Yale-educated economist. Together they take on conventional wisdom with a willingness to reexamine everything and armed with computer driven statistical analysis long ignored by the baseball establishment. They reach imagination-defying conclusions and go after players overlooked and dismissed by the rest of baseball for being too odd, too old, too injured or too much trouble, but who all have key skills that are universally undervalued. As Billy and Peter forge forward, their new methods and roster of misfits rile the old guard, the media, the fans, and their own field manager, who refuses to cooperate. (2 hrs 13 m)
Movie schedule is subject to change. Please call to confirm. Movie Hotline: 624-4248
- Contraband Don’t forget: Buy four large popcorns and get the 5th one free!
GAME Find the words! ADMIRER ADORE AFFECTION ATTRACTION BEAU BELOVED BOYFRIEND CANDLES CANDY CHOCOLATES COUPLE CRUSH CUPID DARLING DATE DEAR DEVOTION FANCY FEBRUARY FLAME
FLOWERS FONDNESS FOREVER FRIENDSHIP GIFT GIRLFRIEND HEARTS JEWELRY LIKE LOVEBIRDS LOVERS PARTNER PROPOSAL RELATIONSHIP RESTAURANT ROMANCE ROSES SENTIMENT SUITOR SWEETHEART
Fun Facts The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Every Valentine's Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
Engine/Fuel Filters. 4,500 Euro. Call Travis Miller at 335-786-4253. 2005 Jeep Wrangler - 4.0 6 cyl, 6 speed manual, 58K miles, COLD AC, ABS, Air bags, UPGRADED SOUND SYSTEM and KC Highlights. In GREAT condition, low miles, very well maintained. Spring and Summer are close, drop the top and enjoy the sun!! Asking price below loan value! First $15,500 rides away!!! You will not find a better deal!! Call David 335261496 or 624-1382 or email at email@example.com.
Panasonic 50" Plasma, Model TH50PX60U, $500. Call Travis Miller at 335786-4253.
2000 BMW 320D. Runs Great. 136K KM. New Starter, Brakes, Ignition,
Very lightly used Sony PSPgo $127 Games already installed: Little Big Pla-
DCD775KL 1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Compact Lithium-Ion Hammer-Drill Kit Case, 2 batteries, 2-yr warranty $140. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
net, Activision Hits remix, Rock Band, Capcom Classics collection Remix.
to attend meeting on Monday, March 5. Call Monica Long at x2712 or x5243 to sign up.
Divers - New Scuba Pro Geo BCD, size XL. Great light weight BCD, cost $375, sell $275. Contact Gary 335-706-5400 New unused in box, Sharp Aquos 32" HDMI TV (NTSC), paid $399 sell $299! call 095-789-3490 after 6 p.m.
Volunteers needed for Base 2 Base event on Saturday, March 17 from 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Must be available
The US Naval Hospital Sigonella is conducting market research for the following healthcare providers: Emergency Room Physician, Referral Manager, Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Medical Assistant. Resume or CV may be forwarded to Ms. Randazzo: Agostina.email@example.com or contact 095-563792 (DSN 624-3792).
Marriage and The Lord’s Prayer BY LCDR C. SCOTT CAUBLE NAS Sigonella Command Chaplain
The NASSIG Religious Ministry Department provides marriage counseling and training through individual counseling sessions and enrichment seminars. On Feb. 24-26 there is a free Marriage Enrichment Weekend at a nice off-site location. Please contact the chapel at 624-3975 for details and to RSVP.
hile there are many excellent books written about marriage, my current favorite is What Did You Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp (Crossway, 2010). Based on his many years of providing marriage counsel, he believes the culprit too many of the problems couples face is the unrealistic expectations they have of each other. We fail to consider the reality of marriage – two imperfect people living under the same roof. Thus, when our unrealistic expectations are not met we tend to resign ourselves to coasting, with no hopes or plans to get engaged with the problem and make the relationship better. This passive approach of coasting, though, causes marriages to slowly erode. One way we can respond to this as a couple is by taking a proactive approach to our difficulties and placing our marriage in the hands of God through daily prayer. The Lord’s Prayer, familiar to many of us, is the perfect model for this. Consider the six petitions of this prayer and how it impacts marriage. Our Father in heaven. We sometimes think that we are all alone in this world without resources or allies. There are difficulties in our lives and we fear there may not be a solution. But when we address God as our Father we realize that we are not alone and that we have an unlimited resource of strength and wisdom available to us. Beginning with this humble admission makes us place ourselves and our marriage in the mighty hands of God. Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. When we consider God’s kingdom, the territory over which God reigns, we realize that the King has his own set of plans and purposes for those who make their dwelling there. This petition makes us realize that there is a story kin-
gdom than our own. While we tend to spend much of our time thinking about and contributing to our own little kingdoms, the wisdom of praying “your kingdom come, your will be done” is that there is a kingdom much larger and more superior than mine. A life of fulfillment is found in seeing ourselves in the larger story of God’s Kingdom, joining ourselves to His plans, and saying “Your will – not my will – be done.”. Give us this day our daily bread. Many marriages begin experiencing difficulty when they believe that they have “arrived.” The faulty assumption is that there is no more room for relational or spiritual growth so we begin coasting and the process of erosion begins. This petition reminds us that we are needy. We need God’s nourishment every day if we are to have a marriage of unity, understanding, and love. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. We need to be reminded that we are to forgive our spouses in the same way that God has forgiven us. No relationship can survive for very long without forgiveness. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Our greatest marital struggle is not our spouse or our circumstances. Rather, it is someone that we cannot run away from… ourselves. Our selfish desires must be curbed if we are to live for the well-being of our spouses. Therefore, we need God to expose our self-reliance, self-focus, and selfishness. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. This prayer concludes with a call to the work of bringing God glory in and through our marriages. My prayer is that you will consider making The Lord’s Prayer a model for praying together with your spouse.