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Of North Idaho

March 2012

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Volume 2012-12

TIDBITS® GOES TO WORK WITH SERVICE ANIMALS by Patricia L. Cook This Tidbits examines “man’s best friend” and other animals that go the extra mile serving humans. • Many service animals serve only one person in their service lives. A dog may be trained to help a blind or deaf person and stay with that person for about 10 years, usually until the dog dies or becomes incapable of serving because of health problems. • Service dogs trained for police work serve many people by protecting the public from criminals who may seek to harm others with bombs, drugs or other evil actions. • Dogs trained to serve in the military are extremely well trained and reliable members who serve alongside their comrades. Much of the work done by animals for the military is classified. It is known that the U.S. military has used pigeons, horses and chickens as well as dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions and other marine mammals and, of course, dogs. These animals have all served honorably to reduce risk to humans. • According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there about 3,000 dogs have worked as sentries, detecting bombs and land mines and performing search, rescue and recovery. Many of those animals have been on tour in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years. • Military dogs are trained in San Antonio, Texas, at the Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base. German shepherds, Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the most common breeds used. The military purchases some of its dogs from breeders, but most are from its own breeding program. Continued on page 10

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One of the most enduring symbols of the United States and a treasured landmark in New York City is the Statue of Liberty. •“Lady Liberty,” as she is frequently called, was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship formed during the American Revolution. •The idea for a statue to be given to the United States was born at the home of Edouard de Laboulaye, near Versailles, France, in the summer of 1865. Laboulaye is considered the “Father of the Statue of Liberty.” Unfortunately, he died before its completion. •French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design the sculpture with the plan for it to be presented in 1876 to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. Gustave Eiffel, France’s most respected engineer, who later designed the Eiffel Tower, was commissioned to help Bartholdi with the massive structure. •While the French were responsible for the Statue and for assembling it once it came to America, the pedestal was the responsibility of the Americans. Funding for both projects was difficult. Both countries allowed auctions, lotteries, entertainment events and more to be held to raise funds for the huge project. •When Joseph Pulitzer became the owner and editor of the New York World in 1883, he appealed to people all across the country to contribute funds and to not bring shame upon the nation by not providing for the generous gift from the French. His plea was heard; money poured in from people all across the country. •The Statue was completed in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June 1885. The pedestal construction was finished in April 1886. The Statue remained unassembled in crates for over a year waiting for the completion of the pedestal. The centennial gift was actually 10 years late! •The Statue was transported from France to the United States on the French frigate Isere. It was disassembled into 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. Reportedly, rough seas almost brought a disastrous end to the Isere and its cargo. •It took four months to re-assemble the Statue on her pedestal. She was dedicated on October 28, 1886, in front of thousands of spectators. President Grover Cleveland proclaimed that “Liberty” would “magnify France beyond the seas.” Fireworks followed the dedication, and then New York City’s first “Ticker Tape” parade ensued. •The original torch was actually displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Today, it is located in the museum at Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island with the Statue. In 1984, it was replaced by a new, copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf that reflects sunlight in the day and is lit by 16 floodlights at night. • Much symbolism was built into the Statue. The crown has 25 windows symbolizing gemstones and heaven’s rays shining over the world. The seven rays on the crown represent the seven seas and continents. Chains and a broken shackle at the Statue’s feet represent freedom from oppression and servitude.

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Buying a Home With an FHA Rehab Loan If you’ve hoped to buy a home on a low budget, chances are that everything you’ve looked at needs work. If you’re lucky, it might be as simple as paint in every room. On the other hand, perhaps the house you want was a foreclosure that was trashed by vandals when it sat empty, and the cost of the repair work will take more cash than you’ll have available after closing. There are a number of reasons to take on a home that needs work: location (you want to stay in the kids’ school district or be closer to work), you can’t afford a perfect house, or you see the potential in the house and know if would serve your family well for many years to come. That’s where a Federal Housing Administration 203(k) rehab loan can come in. This type of loan covers the mortgage as well as repairs that need to be made to single-family homes, with the total cost wrapped up in one neat loan package. There are two levels to the loan program: 1) if the work that needs to be done is fairly simple (doesn’t involve structural repairs) and will cost under $35,000, or 2) extensive renovation at a cost of at least $5,000 with no maximum limit. During the rehab process, FHA inspectors will visit the site multiple times to ensure that the work is up to standards and is following the plan. You’ll have six months to get the work completed by a contractor. Funds, held in escrow, will be released in stages as the work is done. If you’re interested in a multi-unit building and plan to live in one of the units, the 203(k) can be used for up to four family units. You can build a new house on an old foundation, or move a house to a new location. The work must include improving “thermal efficiency,” such as weather stripping and insulation. The process for securing a 203(k) loan is complicated, with numerous steps to follow, but the stress can be worth it if it gets you the house you want, with repairs made, at a price you can afford. For more information on FHA rehab loans, go to and put 203(k) in the search box. You’ll need to speak to an FHA-approved lender in your area. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

VA Gets Personal Q: I’m pretty regular about cleaning my home’s windows on the inside, but as a new homeowner I’ve never cleaned the outside of the windows, and they’re getting pretty grungy. The first floor shouldn’t be a problem, but what about the upstairs windows? Also, is there a faster way to clean than with paper towels and spray cleaner? -- Brad in Knoxville, Tenn. A: “Fast” depends on just how grungy the outside of the windows are, but I can get you to “effective and efficient” which will make the task of cleaning windows easier. On a side note, spring and fall are great times to clean the outside windows, if you don’t do them more frequently. These are typically the seasons when screens are replaced with storm windows and vice versa, and while dual screen-storm windows are more common, it’s still a good guideline to follow. First, inspect all your home’s windows to make sure they’re undamaged, including storm windows and screens. Next, remove screens or storm windows and place them on a clean, sunny spot of the driveway or walkway to be cleaned. Take a look at the home’s windows from the inside. Newer double-hung windows can be unhooked and either lifted out of the frame or swung inward to access the outside of the glass. Older windows are sometimes held in the frame by a thin strip of wood, which should be carefully removed. Then the bottom sash can be lifted out of the frame. Being able to swing out or remove the bottom sash makes cleaning the outside of upstairs windows easier and much safer than climbing a ladder to reach them. To clean windows, brush away loose dust and debris first. Then fill a bucket with warm water and mild detergent. Place a waterproof liner (like a tarp or sheet of plastic) underneath the window to protect the floor and walls. Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean and less pruney. Dunk a clean sponge in the soapy water and wash the windowpanes, repeating as necessary to remove built-up dirt. Once the window is clean, grab a lint-free cloth, a chamois or for a really old-school way to dry a window, some newspaper. Dry the glass completely; for your final pass, wipe back and forth, then straight up and down, to minimize streaks. I usually start cleaning the outside of windows first. Yes, it grunges up your water and sponge faster, but it also gets the hard work out of the way first. I can clean the sponge and refill the bucket for the inside of the windows.

If you are enrolled in the Veterans Affairs health care system, you’re due to receive a personalized Health Benefits Handbook with all of your information in it. The handbooks, which started rolling out in February, are being sent according to priority group, with Group 1 being the first to receive the handbooks. When you receive yours, read it and file it in a safe place (remember, it has your personal information in it). The handbooks are full of information you need about your benefits, including: --Co-pays --How to make an appointment --How to communicate with your clinical team --Medications you are taking at the time, as well as eyeglass prescriptions, nursing home information, dental benefits, specialized transportation, medical travel benefits and much more. You’ll also find information about coordinating your health care, your rights as a patient, getting care outside the VA, pharmacy services, telephone numbers for your preferred facility and more. By next year, all 8.5 million health-care veterans will have received the handbooks. Be sure to check yours carefully because the information is personalized for you and contains your private information. If it’s wrong, you need to speak up because it means something is incorrect somewhere in the system. If any information is wrong, contact the VA immediately. This could be the spelling of your name, your preferred VA facility, benefits you know you’re eligible for -- no matter what it is, call and have it corrected. To learn more about the coming handbook, go online to or call the VA at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Give it time to get the booklets out in order of priority, but if you’re in the first batch and months pass without receiving the booklet, give the VA a call. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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1. LANGUAGE: What is the meaning of the Latin phrase “novus ordo seclorum,” located on the Great Seal on a U.S. $1 bill? 2. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is the name for a seashell collector or expert? 3. ART: What Mexican muralist was married to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo? 4. COMICS: What was the name of Casper the Friendly Ghost’s horse? 5. SPORTS: Where did the sport of jai alai originate? 6. GEOGRAPHY: Where is Death Valley located? 7. TELEVISION: Which PBS documentary series featured the song “Ashokan Farewell” as its theme music? 8. MEDICINE: What is the brand name for the sedative diazepam? 9. LITERATURE: Who was the first to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (1901)? 10. ENTERTAINERS: What was the stage name of the actor who was born “Laszlo Lowenstein”?

¥ On April 4, 1812, President James Madison fires an economic salvo at the British government and enacts a 90-day embargo on trade with England. The embargo did little to forestall war: The British refused to cease harassing American ships, prompting Madison to lead America into the War of 1812. ¥ On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express mail simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Mo., heading west, and Sacramento, Calif., heading east on a 1,800-mile journey. On April 13, the westbound packet arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet by two days. ¥ On April 7, 1891, American showman Phineas Taylor Barnum dies in Bridgeport, Conn. The 81-year-old showman’s sense of humor never deserted him. He requested that a New York newspaper run his obituary before he died so he could enjoy reading it, and the paper obliged. ¥ On April 2, 1902, the first American theater devoted solely to movies opens in Los Angeles. Housed in a circus tent, the venue was dubbed “The Electric Theater.” Admission cost 10 cents for a one-hour show.

¥ It was Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who made the following sage observation: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” ¥ We’re all familiar with the act of CPR -- we often see a film or television character come to the rescue and save a life using the technique. And on TV, according to a recent study, CPR is shown as being successful 75 percent of the time. The reality is not quite so rosy, though. A study conducted in 2010 found that when CPR is used in real life, only about 8 percent of the patients were still alive after one month. Of those who did survive that long, 97 percent couldn’t live a normal life. ¥ Do you suffer from astraphobia? If so, I hope you don’t live in Florida. Those who are afraid of lightning would be terrified in the Sunshine State, especially in Tampa, known as the lightning capital of the world. ¥ Researchers in the United Kingdom have invented a robot that eats slugs and is powered by the gas from the decaying creatures. They have dubbed their creation the SlugBot.

1. What group released “Bus Stop”? What is the song about? 2. Name the band that had a No. 1 hit with “The Voice.” 3. Van McCoy was best known for which dance tune? 4. Who wrote and released “Give Ireland Back to the Irish”? 5. Name the artist who wrote “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.” 6. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” netted a Grammy for what group?

1. Is the book of 3 Peter in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. When the seventh seal was opened there was silence in heaven for how long? 1 breath, Half an hour, Full day, 3 days 3. From Daniel 5, whose palace had a hand that wrote on the wall? Solomon, Herod, Belshazzar, Ahasuerus 4. What ancient percussion instrument was similar to a tambourine? Tabladrum, Tonse, Tetlum, Timbrel 5. Muppim, Huppim and Ard were all whose sons? Gabriel, Michael, Benjamin, Paul 6. Who was the first judge of Israel? David, Saul, Absalom, Othniel

Trivia Test Answers 1. A new order of the ages 2. Conchologist 3. Diego Rivera 4. Nightmare 5. Spain’s Basque region 6. Southern California 7. “The Civil War” by Ken Burns 8. Valium 9. French poet Sully Prudhomme 10. Peter Lorre

Bible Trivia Answers: 1) Neither; 2) Half an hour; 3) Belshazzar; 4) Timbrel; 5) Benjamin; 6) Othniel

Flash Back Answers: 1. The Hollies, in 1966. The song describes a romance that started at a bus stop in the rain, with a shared umbrella. 2. The Moody Blues, in 1981. The English band’s name developed in 1964 from a hoped-for sponsorship from the M&B Brewery, which never materialized. 3. “The Hustle,” written in 1975. Before he died in 1979, McCoy had written 700 songs. 4. Paul McCartney and Wings. The song, written after the deadly Bloody Sunday civil-rights protests in Ireland in 1972, was banned from airplay. It rose to No. 1 anyway. 5. Randy Bachman, of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO). The 1974 song was the Canadian rock group’s only No. 1 single. 6. The Police, in 1982. The song was used in a 2009 episode of the television show “Glee.”

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: How does one eliminate dandruff? I have had it for months and have tried many, many shampoos without making any progress. I can’t wear a dark suit coat. I look like I’ve just come in from a snow blizzard. Please give me some sort of program that I can follow. -- H.H. ANSWER: Dandruff’s official name is seborrheic (SEB-uh-REE-ik) dermatitis. “Dermatitis” indicates skin inflammation. Seborrhea is an overproduction of oil, sebum. Many with dandruff deny they have an oily scalp. They say their scalp is dry. That can be the case, but seborrheic dermatitis flourishes on skin with an abundance of oil glands. The scalp is one of those places, but not the only place. The flakes that land on your shoulders are sloughedoff skin cells. Dandruff usually is quite itchy. Scratching dislodges the dead skin cells. A yeast with the name Malassezia contributes to the problem. It’s probably not the actual cause, but it aids and abets the dandruff process. I’m sure you have tried many shampoos. Let me suggest ones that contain salicylic acid, zinc or selenium. Scalpicin, Head and Shoulders and Selsun Blue are three brand names. There are others. The way you use the shampoo is as important as your choice of shampoo. Wash your hair daily with one of these products. Massage it into your scalp, and let the shampoo remain on your scalp for five minutes. Do this for a minimum of three weeks. If you have an improvement, you can cut back on your shampooing to every other day. If there has been no improvement, then get a shampoo that attacks the Malassezia yeast. Nizoral A-D (1 percent ketoconazole) is a brand name you can find easily. Do the daily shampoo drill with one of these for three weeks. If after all this you still have dandruff, you need a doctor’s intervention. The doctor can prescribe more powerful agents, ones that have cortisone that can calm the inflamed skin. * * * DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My husband has just been told he has spasmodic dystonia. He has had two Botox injections. They made it worse at first but then better. Friends and family have never heard of it. Would you give us an explanation of it in layman’s terms? -- T.W.

ANSWER: Spasmodic dysphonia messes up the voice. People often believe they have laryngitis from a virus. They don’t; they have a cramping of the muscles that control their vocal cords. Their voices crack while saying a word, or become weak and breathy, or sound as though they are being choked. Sometimes it seems like the affected person has developed a stutter. The condition usually arises between the ages of 30 and 50. Its cause is unknown. An ear, nose and throat doctor can make a diagnosis by viewing the affected person’s vocal cords and seeing how they are misbehaving. Botox can put an end to the vocal muscles’ spasms. Treatment lasts for about three months, and then another injection is given. Contact the National Spasmodic Dystonia Association ( or 800-795-6732) for detailed information and for notifications of any new treatments. * * * Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2012 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

It isn’t often that our Western-medicine physicians will suggest we take an alternative route to health. Boston University scientists have done some research, however, that points to an Eastern form of exercise that will help with a big Western problem: Yoga is theorized to help reduce stress. Specifically, their research shows that yoga can help treat and prevent high blood pressure, cardiac disease and anxiety. Yoga, they believe, helps to restore balance to the nervous system. Imbalance can come from stress. In one study, participants were split into two groups: walking versus yoga. Only those in the yoga group had a rise in gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of calm. Researchers took a big step (for Western medicine) when they suggested that specific yoga practices should be created as a way to help with stress-related conditions. The theories now will be tested in clinical studies. Yoga classes are easily found, but for seniors, a class that is specially geared to us is safer. Muscles get weak, and osteoporosis can result when we sit too much. Yoga itself isn’t a strenuous exercise, but it’s best to start with slow, gentle movements and a skilled instructor. With yoga we can learn deep breathing and mild stretching ... with quiet Eastern music playing in the background. Doesn’t that sound peaceful? Look for senior-friendly yoga classes at the senior center, churches, assisted living centers (even if you don’t live there) and fitness centers. Yes, those fitness gyms are starting to figure out that there are a lot of us, and we’ll use their services if they provide what we need. Sometimes that can include special classes, like yoga for seniors. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to


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Answers on page 14

¥ What’s the best way to keep sheet sets together? Tuck all the pieces in a matching pillowcase, of course. ¥ Need to hull strawberries? Try using a straw. Position the straw at the bottom of the strawberry, then push up toward the stem. It works quickly and well. ¥ If you mount a magnet strip in your bathroom or on your vanity, you can use it to hold bobby pins or metal barrettes. Or mount a ribbon to hold all kinds of hair clips. ¥ Baby leg protectors are cute. And cheap, if you have some old athletic socks. Cut off the ends, slip over baby’s legs, and watch cutie scoot across the floor. ¥ If your entertainment electronics have a clock that is too bright, cover it with plain tape. You’ll still be able to read the time, but the tape will lessen the glare. ¥ “My in-laws have a vaulted ceiling, and there is a corner that even the longest-handled duster won’t reach. My brilliant son had an idea to get down the cobwebs that had accumulated there. He used a rubber band to secure a dishtowel around a tennis ball. Then he just tossed it at the area repeatedly. I can’t believe how well it worked.” -- A Reader, via email ¥ If new denims are too stiff, add half a cup of salt to the wash water along with your regular detergent.

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SPORTS OF SORTS NASCAR THIS WEEK By Monte Dutton PHOTO CUTLINE: Greg Biffle (right) has constantly been a force in all three touring series. The Roush Fenway driver is evolving in a brand-new NASCAR world. (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo) Biffle’s Destiny If Greg Biffle keeps doing what he’s doing, he will win the Sprint Cup championship. Don’t get carried away. Biffle isn’t going to finish third in 36 consecutive races. It’s pretty amazing that he’s done so in the three races held so far. Biffle, 42, failed to make the Chase last year after finishing seventh or better in each of the three previous years. His best showing to date was a runner-up finish in 2005. He’s actually a little sheepish about failing to win yet. “We’re super-excited about it (three straight thirds), but there again, we want to win like (Tony Stewart, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), so we’re going to keep our heads down and keep working hard,” Biffle said. Biffle, from Vancouver, Wash., has been successful in each of NASCAR’s three national touring series. He was the top rookie in Trucks in 1998 and champion in 2000. He earned rookie honors in (now) Nationwide in 2001 and the title in 2002.

Six of Biffle’s 16 Cup victories occurred in 2005, when he finished second (by tie-breaker with teammate Carl Edwards) to Tony Stewart in the title race. Like Edwards, Biffle has spent his entire career at Roush Fenway Racing. Someone asked Biffle recently about how the sport has changed since he first competed at the Cup level in 2002. “The most significant (change) was this car, the car we have now, and no testing,” he said. “That changed our entire sport. It changed it completely, and it will never be the same. Before, we weren’t spending all the time back at the shop with the engineers and seven-post machine and all the engineering-based models. It was more go to the race track and figure out what sway bar was the best, what spring, what shock, and we had data on the cars. We’d go home and look at the data, and look at what we learned and what the driver said about it, and we would go to the next place. “That’s how this sport used to be, and it’s not like that anymore.” *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@ (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro set a record in 2010 for most RBIs in a major-league debut. How many did he have? 2. In 2011, Atlanta’s Brian McCann became the second person in majorleague history to have a pinch-hit, game-tying homer in the ninth and followed with a game-winning home run. Who was the first? 3. Who was the last coach of the Houston Oilers before Jeff Fisher took over in 1994 and the team eventually moved to Tennessee? 4. Entering the 2011-12 season, Kentucky was the No. 1 team for total victories in Division I college basketball (2,052). Name three of the next five schools. 5. How many players reached the 100-point plateau in the NHL in the 201011 season? 6. Name the Russian superheavyweight Olympic weightlifter who won two gold medals and had a nine-year unbeaten streak (1970-78). 7. Who was the last LPGA golfer before Yani Tseng (2010-11) to capture two women’s majors in consecutive years. 1. Six. 2. Jeff Heath of the Boston Braves in 1949. 3. Jack Pardee (1990-94).

4. Kansas (2,038 wins), North Carolina (2,033), Duke (1,944), Syracuse (1,800) and Temple (1,766).

5. Just one, Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin, with 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists). 6. Vasily Alekseyev.

7. Karrie Webb, in 2000-01.

The Lombardi trophy hadn’t even made it into the Giants’ trophy case before the 2012 NFL season was foisted upon the nation. Bounty hunters, salary caps, free agency and last-minute draft moves dominated the sports section during February and March. Oh ... and that guy Peyton Manning made a few headlines, too. Yes, even teams like the Indianapolis Colts can say goodbye to a legend, as they did when they released the MVP quarterback last month. With that move, the Colts made it clear that the first-round draft pick will be former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck is a known commodity. The two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up certainly appears to be a viable NFL starter, but there is always room for doubt (see: Ryan Leaf). However, the real question mark resides in a grainy YouTube video taken through a hole in a fence at Duke University last month. “What a ball,” says the unknown filmmaker as Manning appears to unleash a 60-yard bomb to an unnamed receiver. Scratch that ... the receiver was apparently his former teammate Brandon Stokely. And Stokely likes what he sees. “I saw him for three days at Duke, and he was the only quarterback, and he threw a ton of balls for three straight practices, and the guy looked to me like he did when I was there six years ago,” Stokely told the L.A. Times. “People who say the Broncos are crazy for not watching his balls fly, or what are they doing? Those people are dead wrong. I’ll put whatever reputation I have on the line behind that guy right now. He looks great.” So the question then becomes, well, why isn’t Manning working out for teams? The answer -- as any one of us signed to multi-year, million-dollar contracts can attest -- is because he literally doesn’t want to show his hand. If Manning were to perform poorly at a workout for, say, the Denver Broncos, and the Broncos decide to take a flyer on him, the word would quickly spread around the league that Manning was damaged goods. Manning is, by all accounts, one of the “good guys” in the NFL (he certainly was the funniest “Saturday Night Live” guest host in sports history). It would appear unlikely that he would simply take some unwitting team’s money and ride out the contract from the cozy confines of the bench. But Manning wouldn’t be the first athlete to let his ego get in the way, to simply ignore or choose not to believe that his best days were behind him, his skills deteriorated to the point of no return. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck seems to have his head on straight, as his monologue in the latest Nike commercial exhibits. “You can’t decide if you get picked first or second or which cities fans will wear your jersey,” Luck says in the commercial. “You don’t know if you will be surrounded by veterans or throwing to other rookies. You can’t tell if teams see a gamble or their future franchise quarterback. You don’t have a crystal ball. So people will tell you that all you can do is wait, but you know better, and you ignore them and do what you’ve always done.


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March 2012 To Advertise Call 704-9972

Find Mr. Tidbits! He’s hidden somewhere in the paper. Here’s what he might

look like:

He can be any size and any color. If you find him, go to Last week’s Answer On page 4:

Contiinued from front page • Military dogs are trained in San Antonio, Texas, at the Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base. German shepherds, Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the most common breeds used. The military purchases some of its dogs from breeders, but most are from its own breeding program. • When the Navy SEALs stormed Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound on May 2, 2011, four of the first feet on the ground were those of Cairo, a well-trained Belgian Malinois. When President Obama had a private meeting with the SEAL team, the only one of the super-secret team whose name was revealed was Cairo, the war dog. • The lighter, more compact Belgian Malinois breed is considered the best for operations undertaken by SEAL teams, such as tandem parachute jumping and rappelling. Dogs like Cairo are trained to detect and identify both hostile and/or hiding humans and explosives. The dogs are about twice as fast as their most physically fit SEAL companions. • Like other members of the SEALs, Cairo was equipped with super-strong, flexible body armor and high-tech equipment that included “doggles.” Doggles are specially designed dog goggles equipped with night-vision and infrared capability that allow dogs to see body heat even through concrete walls. • The hi-tech dog gear comes from a momand-pop business in Winnipeg, Manitoba. K9 Storm, Inc., has a worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing what is probably the best body armor available for military and police dogs. Working dogs in 15 countries use their K9 Storm body armor.

Q: For years I have been collecting cardboard casino coin containers and have accumulated at least 50 of them from casinos in Canada, Illinois, Arizona and Las Vegas. Because of the new ticket machines in the casinos, I believe my cardboard containers are now collectible. -Tony, Sun City West, Ariz. A: I contacted several collectors who buy, sell and trade casino gambling items such as tokens, chips and even ashtrays. There was no interested in your cardboard coin containers. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have no value. Have you considered listing them on eBay? *** Q: My wife has been an avid book collector all of her life. Now that we are retired, we are thinking of selling some of her collections but have no idea if they are worth anything. Two of the series we are especially interested in are early and first editions of the Nancy Drew series and early copies of the Motor Boys books published during the early 20th century. -- William, Port Orange, Fla. A: There were 22 volumes in the Motor Boys series, all published between 1906 and 1924. Most titles sell for about $5. Typical are “The Motor Boys in Mexico” (1906), “The Motor Boys Across the Plains” (1907), and “The Motor Boys on the Wing” (1912), all available at www.abe. com for less than $10. The first Nancy Drew book was “The Secret of the Old Clock,” published in 1930 that featured 16-year-old Nancy searching for a missing will to prevent the Topham family from inheriting an estate they do not deserve. That first edition in excellent condition and with cover often retails for about $300.

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All Tom has to do if he truly cares is to look at any dog rescue site on the Internet and he will see many purebreds that are without a home. There are thousands of purebreds being put to sleep because there are no homes for them. The other thing about having animals altered is that they are not only calmer, they are healthier. And it has been proven that an altered pet lives longer if cared for properly. By the way, I own two mix breeds and one purebred. All are rescues! The purebred was half her weight when we got her and has the saddest story out of all our critter kids. I don’t even tell her story, it’s that terrible! So please, spay or neuter your beloved pet (dogs or cats), no matter what breed it is. -- Dee O., Palmyra, N.Y. DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I’m writing in response to “Tom C.,” who doesn’t want to neuter his purebred German Shepherd. Good for you for sticking to your and many people’s beliefs! I have met many breeders of purebred animals. They refuse to alter their “pet” -- or for many, their bankroll -- for any reason. For those of you who truly love your pet and your breed and try to find “perfect” homes for them (at the right price), you should know that many of them end up in shelters just like the mongrels (as Tom put it). I prefer the term “mix breed.”

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American Cheese Meatloaf Meatloaf is a favorite comfort food, and here’s a wonderful new version to try. I predict it will become a new favorite in your family. 16 ounces extra-lean ground turkey or beef 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon dried fine breadcrumbs 1 cup finely chopped onion 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced-fat tomato soup 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 3 (3/4-ounce) slices reduced-fat American cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, onion, green pepper and 1/3 cup tomato soup. Mix well to combine. Pat mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. 2. Stir mustard, parsley flakes and black pepper into remaining tomato soup. Spread soup mixture evenly over partially baked meatloaf. Evenly arrange cheese slices over top. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through and cheese is melted. 3. Place loaf pan on a wire rack and let set for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 servings. Freezes well.

Mushroom and Snap Pea Salad The mushrooms in this spring salad can be marinated up to 4 hours ahead of assembly. The easy homemade dressing and marinade combines shallots, thyme, bay leaf and sherry vinegar. 2 boxes (10 ounces each) sliced mushrooms 2 shallots, thinly sliced 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar Salt, Pepper 1 pound sugar snap peas 1 large bunch frisee, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons (pignoli) pine nuts, toasted 1. Place mushrooms in large bowl. In 2-quart saucepan, combine shallots, thyme, bay leaf and 1/3 cup oil. Heat on medium 2 to 3 minutes or until shallots are just tender. Pour over mushrooms and immediately stir until well-mixed. Stir in 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour, or refrigerate up to 4 hours. 2. Heat covered 4-quart saucepan of water to boiling on high. Meanwhile, remove and discard strings from snap peas. Add snap peas and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water until cool; drain again. 3. In large bowl, toss frisee, parsley and snap peas with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil. Divide among salad plates. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaf from mushrooms; divide mushrooms and sherry dressing among fris€e plates. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts to serve. Serves 8.

Stray Gloves Morph Into Puppet Players Any mismatched, mateless stretch gloves or mittens stuffed in your kids’ backpacks or in baskets by the back-door hooks? Don’t toss out that blue right-hand mitten or the purpleand-white striped left glove. Bring these odd combinations together for creative storytelling by the handful when you effortlessly turn them into puppets using your kids’ favorite plush toy characters. You can make stray-glove puppets with broken or outgrown earmuffs, too. It’s as easy as 1-2-3: 1. Have one child slip on a glove or mitten while you cut a 2-inch piece of self-sticking fabric fastener, such as Velcro. Press it on the top of the glove near your child’s knuckles. 2. Put a corresponding piece of fastener on the underside of a small, lightweight plush toy. Let your child choose a favorite character. Creepy-crawler spiders and worms, or sea creatures such as a crab or fish are especially fun. Press it firmly to adhere well. (For extra durability, sew the Velcro to the toy and glove by hand with a few stitches.) To use the puppet, attach the toy to the glove or mitten where the Velcro pieces meet. Put it on your hand, and put the characters into action. For example: Wiggle fingers to mimic spider legs, fins on a fish or the wings of a bird. If you have a duck perched on a blue mitten, move your hand slowly to create the illusion of it swimming over ripples on a pond. 3. You also can take the “muff” off of broken or outgrown earmuffs, and glue or put Velcro on the bottom of the muff and on top of a glove. Sew bells on the muff for eyes or simply glue on googly eyes from a craft store. Sew or glue on feet cut out from felt at the end of each glove finger-tip. When they’re all made, with the flick of a wrist, your kids will have fun acting out a scene from their imaginations or favorite stories. Tip: At bedtime, reverse the roles and instead of reading a book to your kids, let them create an instant, improvised drama with their cast of stray-glove puppet players. Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” (c) 2012 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

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ARRONDISSEMENTS Webster’s Dictionary defines the big word, arrondissements as “an administrative district of certain large French cities, in particular Paris.” •Traveling from place to place in Paris can be difficult due to its large size. Learning about the arrondissements helps. Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements, with the first one in the center of the city and the remaining ones spiraling outwards, like a snail shell, in a clockwise direction. •Looking at a map of Paris, it is important to understand the arrondissements. Most of the historical tourist attractions are found in the first eight. •Originally, in 1795, Paris was divided into 12 arrondissements with 1-9 on the right bank of the Seine River and 10-12 on the left bank. The Seine flows from east to west, so the right bank is northern Paris, and the left bank is southern Paris. The Seine runs through the historical heart of the city and actually has two islands in the central part. •In 1860, as the city expanded, the 12 original arrondissements were changed to the current 20 that are arranged in the spiral design. •Arrondissements 1,4,5,6,7 and 8 border the Seine and contain many of the historical buildings that Paris is famous for. The Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens are found in number 1. •Numbers 2 and 3 do not border the river and are the smallest sections of Paris. They are known for the National Library and National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, respectively, as well as historical businesses, like the old stock exchange, and museums. • The 4th Arrondissement is the oldest and one of the busiest tourism sections in Paris where Notre-Dame Cathedral is located. •Notre-Dame Cathedral is actually built on an island, the Île de la Cité, in the river. The Pont Neuf bridge connects the island with the right and left banks. Originally made of wood, the bridge, with 12 arches, was rebuilt in 1607. It is the oldest bridge in Paris. •The cathedral was built over a span of 182 years, from 1163-1345. Notre-Dame has undergone two major restorations: in the 19th century after damage during the French Revolution and again from 1991-2001. • The city designers of Paris not only meant for the arrondissements to organize the layout of the city, but they also contain monuments that represent major landmarks on the landscape. Notre-Dame is the central point in Paris; the Eiffel Tower marks the west; the Bastille column, the east; Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart Basilica), the north; and Montparnasse Tower marks the south. • Some of the famous landmarks in Paris provide the best spots to start touring the city and the best views. The square in front of NotreDame indicates the starting point for measuring all distances in France (not just Paris). From in front of Sacré Coeur, there is a view of the entire city of Paris. It is the highest point in the city after the Eiffel Tower.

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PHOTO: Jean Dujardin HOLLYWOOD -- Be careful what you wish for! Jean Dujardin came off the Oscar campaign trail with the gold and returned to his native France, where he is already a huge star and was greeted by mobs of French fans. But beware the dangers of the public eye. The first attack came when his new film, “Les Infideles” (“The Unfaithful Ones”), a comedy in which he plays five cheating Frenchmen, opened in France. Completed prior to his Oscar nomination, it had a scene in New York, where he’s seducing a lover in a hotel room as the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers happens outside the window behind him. Dujardin, also the producer, was advised to cut the scene, and did. If word of the 9/11 attack being used as a backdrop for a philandering comedy scene leaked out, it could have hurt his chances with Academy voters. The French press criticized him for that and called the film “shockingly sexist.” And we non-French speaking Americans didn’t know that Dujardin apparently dropped what amounts to an “F-bomb” in French at the end of his Oscar acceptance speech. His defense? “It was a bit spontaneous; it just came out like that!” Hopefully, his next film, a remake of the French classic “One Wild Moment,” with French actor Vincent Cassell (remade in l984 with Michael Caine as “Blame It on Rio”), will be the kind of follow-up to “The Artist” that American audiences expect. Meryl Streep’s “Great Hope Springs” film, with Tommy Lee Jones, Jean Smart and Steve Carell, was to have opened Dec. 14, but because of her Oscar win, it now will open Aug. 10. Next up for Streep is the film version of the Pulitzer Prizewinning Broadway play “August: Osage County,” with Julia Roberts playing her daughter. Christopher Plummer is shooting the HBO film “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” with Frank Langella. It’s not about Ali’s fighting in the ring, but in the public arena when he refused to fight in Vietnam.


PHOTO: Virginia Williams Q: Could you give some information on the two actors who play Finch and Reese on “Person of Interest”? I don’t recall seeing either of them before, but I like them both and find the show exciting. -- Karen V., VA. A: Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel play Harold Finch and John Reese, respectively. Many will remember Michael, 57, from “Lost,” where he played Ben. He’s also made the rounds on the cops-and-lawyers shows like “The Practice,” “The X-Files,” “Without a Trace,” “Law and Order: SVU,” etc. Prior to “Person of Interest,” Jim, 43, was best known for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” You can see Jim on the big screen later this year in “Savannah” and “Bliss!” and next year in “The Tomb” with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Q: I am so happy that USA Network’s “Fairly Legal” is finally back for another season. Can you give me any scoop for season two? -- Violet F., via e-mail A: I spoke with “Fairly Legal” co-star Virginia Williams, who plays Lauren Reed on the hit legal drama, and she gave me some spoilers. “We get to see more facets of Lauren this year, which is great,” Virginia said. “We get to see her at home, for example. Everything still revolves around Reed & Reed, but we do see glimpses of Lauren at home: coming back from a jog, going on a date, having some sort of a life outside work. We get to see her with her hair down, literally and figuratively. She’s still quite guarded and protective and exacting and stylish and brilliant, but she’s a lot more comfortable with her position now. “Last season was all about Lauren proving to everyone else that she was capable and that she wasn’t just a trophy wife,” she said. “She could get the job done and could lead the firm. This season we see that she not only is extremely capable, but the firm ends up being better off than it was even before Teddy died.” Q: I heard that there is going to be another singing-competition show airing this summer, I think on ABC? Can you tell me about it? -Clark F., via e-mail A: “Duets” is the latest vocal-competition show to hit the small screen, and it is indeed airing on ABC. Currently looking for contestants (, this show stars Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke.

TOP TEN MOVIES 1. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG) animated 2. John Carter (PG-13) Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins 3. Project X (R) Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Brown 4. Act of Valor (R) Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle 5. Silent House (R) Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese 6. Safe House (R) Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds 7. The Vow (PG-13) Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams 8. This Means War (PG-13) Reese Witherspoon 9. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 3D (PG) 10. A Thousand Words (PG-13) Eddie Murphy, Clark Duke Top 10 Video Rentals 1. Tower Heist (PG-13) Ben Stiller 2. Puss in Boots (PG) animated 3. Hugo (PG) Asa Butterfield 4. In Time (PG-13) Amanda Seyfried 5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 (PG-13) Kristen Stewart 6. J. Edgar (R) Leonardo DiCaprio 7. The Rum Diary (R) Johnny Depp 8. Real Steel (PG-13) Hugh Jackman 9. Drive (R) Ryan Gosling 10. The Help (PG-13) Viola Davis

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