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Two sisters who thought a dog was making noises near their neighbour bushes discovered something shocking: a filthy eight month old baby girl who survived three nights outside in a white plastic bag.

legs were just dangling in the bag. Her head was in the bag. Her whole head was covered all the way down, Kayla Seals told Elmira television station WENY.

Hoyt, who lives 20 miles from Elmira in Sayre, Pennsylvania, came here to visit a friend Saturday morning and left the infant in the bag under some bushes around noon, said Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore.

Police say interviews with neighbourhood residents identified Hoyt as the baby mother. Her public defender wasn available for comment. Weeden said Hoyt had no prior criminal history.

Kayla and Karen Seals found the baby early Tuesday afternoon. They called 911 and cleaned up the child. She was wearing clothing and a soiled diaper and had a rash over parts of her body, but showed no signs of other physical abuse, Wetmore said. High temperatures over those days reached into the 70s with a low of 48 degrees on Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The baby, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital for examination and transferred to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where she was in stable condition and may be released to social services officials as early as Wednesday.

Elmira police Sgt. William Solt called the two women sister came out off the porch and went to the side to the backyard of my neighbour house with a stick, thinking it was a dog, Karen Seals told the television station.

New York has a law that allows a parent to leave a newborn in a safe place, such as a hospital or fire station, without fear of being prosecuted, but it wouldn have applied to the 8 month old. The law was enacted in 2000 and amended 10 years later to increase the length of time when a newborn could be abandoned from five days after birth to 30 days.
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Filmmaker Aanand L Rai is now gearing up for the release of his upcoming film Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in the lead but it seems he is already eyeing his next project.

As per a report in Mid Day, Aanand has brought Rajkumar Santoshi, whose last cinematic outing was 2013 film Phata Poster Nikla Hero, on board to helm a film under his banner. An insider revealed to the leading daily, sir had the outline of a human drama in mind and he couldn think of anyone better than Santoshi to direct it. He thought it was a story right up Santoshi alley,
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and one can draw parallels between the storyline and his earlier films like Damini [1993] or Ghayal [1990]. He gave Santoshi a call and a meeting later, the filmmaker was on board. Moreover, confirming the news, trade analyst Taran Adarsh too took to Twitter to share the news and wrote, this is BIG NEWS Rajkumar Santoshi and Aanand L Rai join hands for a film project Santoshi to direct a film for Aanand production outfit Colour Yellow. Now this is BIG NEWS. Rajkumar Santoshi and Aanand L Rai join hands for a film project. Santoshi to direct a film for Aanand production outfit Colour Yellow. I am happy to take this ambitious project forward with him. Aanand L Rai too shared his excitement on collaborating with the ace filmmaker and said, have grown watching Rajji films and now, working with him is an honour. Meanwhile,
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the film is expected to go on floors later this year and is slated to release by mid 2019.

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ok guys, as you can see I have been getting really slack with all my journal entries so this whole thing really isn working at the moment. I been really busy with school, I went to the snow and I been working on my geocities page. So I guess thats where you can find me more from now on. Thanks for all the support guys!

Ok. If anyone has any ideas for my site on geocities please let me know I trying to get some stuff up for you guys! Ok, see ya later.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Hi everyone. I been sick for the last week, please don yell at me. I have a trachea infection or something and I been coughing heaps, had a runny nose, been unable to sleep, had a dry throat and blood noses. So yeah, I not that happy at the moment. 🙁

Also, I got sent a message from boomspeed saying they are going to close down my account because I am linking to my pictures from a non boomspeed site which is apparently against the TOS. !!!! I pretty angry cos now I have to find somewhere else to put my images and I have been looking around but it hasn helped. If you know where I can put my images please contact me!

Last night I had netball and I played goal defence for the first half. I was feeling really tired so I came off after that. It was really shocking though. We lost 17 to 53. How bad is that But my friend was umpiring another game and the score was 2 to 72 so it wasn that bad I guess.

Friday, August 9, 2002

I didn really do too much today. I only had one of my normal teachers, the rest are all on work experience or at camp with the year 9s and 10s.

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Yay! Now I have my adoptions at the geocities section of my site. If you want to see that section just click on the pop up in that column!! I have also adopted some more pixels for my toybox and I have joined some more fanlistings.

Monday, August 5, 2002

I had netball training tonight. We are still training as a squad but soon they are going to announce the teams (scary!). I think I trained okay but I not sure. On the topic of netball how good was the Australia vs New Zealand match last night at the commonwealth games I was so scared that we would lose but thank goodness Australia got up and we won! I couldn sleep after that I was too hyped up but it was midnight so I had to try to.

Sunday, August 4, 2002

Yesterday I had my normal day full of umpiring, coaching and playing netball. We won our game which was really good now we are second on the ladder!
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(we kicked the third team so it was good to beat them). This morning I went to Uni Open Day to look at all the courses and stuff that was available. It was pretty good everyone was really helpful.

Saturday, August 3, 2002

If this page looks a bit weird it because I trying to add my quilting bee application to this site instead of geocities! I try and get this back to normal soon!

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Yesterday, Joe Strummer died peacefully at home in Somerset, possibly of a heart attack. This news comes at a time when the Clash were rumored to have had a reunion in the works and brings to a solemn close a year rife with the deaths of many legendary or revered musicians. After the Clash comfortably won NME Best punk Band of All Time poll this year, the time seemed ripe, and public reception strong enough, for activity from their camp. However, in all respect, Strummer memory is better preserved in looking back at the whole of his history and works, from the 101 to the Clash, from solo works to Mystery Train, from the Pogues to the Mescaleros. A detailed timeline appears on NME Clash page, while Strummerville and Strummersite cover his post Clash ventures. The Clash are slated to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003.

Precisely at the time when the year is quickly wrapping up, when everyone is dutifully serving up Best of 2002 lists and such, Strange Fruit has seemingly gone MIA for quite some time. During vacation, I thought I would be listless and updating far more frequently, but truth be told, vacation has actually kept me quite busy. I am currently traveling abroad, far from the city I call home, still shaking off jet lag, but otherwise quite awash in my surroundings. (I return in the second week January, after which point I will be able post a Best Albums of 2002 list. This plan of action may work better, with the year properly over by then and, so as not to dissuade myself, I will not look at other lists until mine is complete.)

Aside from a severe language barrier, things are going quite smoothly. One of the easiest ways to strike an instant rapport with someone (when traditional modes of conversation pose difficulty) is through comparing and exposing one another to individual music preferences. Even here, as I walk through crowded streets, shopping centers even mountain tops a soundtrack infiltrates the air. Mostly it pumpy, almost throwaway pop which carries with it a malaise inducing stickiness, yet in rare moments it piques my interest. chart pop, the most heavily saturated market and widely spread amongst the population: probably not indicative of the best music this place has to offer. I have set myself on quite a mission to find the so called underground and groups I would not otherwise hear.

The best glimmers of recognition come in hearing familiar songs gutted and revamped into completely different ones. Afroman hooks now underscore a love ballad. The “Axel F Theme” sounds rejuvenated with an accompanying rap break. And, perhaps most fortuitously, the 4 Non blondes get a continuous loop of public playtime, with Linda Perry vocals set atop simple, uncharacteristic techno beats. Suddenly, it 1994 again, with the feeling maybe it never ceased to be in some corners.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002SXSW 2003 Making up the Breakdown

South By Southwest has announced a preliminary listing of bands participating in its 2003 music conference. The Keynote speaker is Daniel Lanois, an artist about to release his third solo album and the producer of Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind, Peter Gabriel So, and U2 The Joshua Tree.

As SXSW e mail update notes, the preliminary line up includes the following:

Apples in Stereo (Denver CO), Avail (Richmond

VA), AZITA IL), Baby Woodrose (Copenhagen DENMARK), Baptist

Generals (Ft Worth TX), Bobby Bare Jr TN), Bergman Rock

SWEDEN), Dan Bern the IJBC (Truth or Consequences NM),

Damien Binder (Auckland NEW Dan Brodie And The Broken Arrows

(Melbourne AUSTRALIA), Buck 65 (Halifax NS), The Buhr QuartetMB), Burning Brides (Philadelphia PA), Call And Response (Oakland CA),

Camper Van Beethoven (Santa Cruz CA), Carissa Wierd (Seattle WA),Carroll Children of Bodom (Helsinki FINLAND), Clem

Snide (New York NY), Coin Op (Brighton UK), Dan Colehour the Camaros

featuring David Grissom, Condor44 (Tokyo JAPAN), The Connect Four

Orchestra The Constantines (Toronto ON), Core of(Meguroku JAPAN), The Cost (Oakland CA), Donnacha Costello

David Cross (New York NY), The Datsuns (Hamilton NEWCedell Davis (Helena AR), The D4 (Auckland NEW Dillinger.
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JACKMAN, Maine A week after the local select board fired the town manager over the revelation that he was cultivating a homeland in northern New England, residents here are getting on with their lives and back to work on the challenges facing this small community near the Canadian border.

The controversy around Tom Kawczynski and flurry of national media attention that climaxed last week with his firing has blown through Jackman, leaving a position to fill in the town hall but changing little else, locals said Thursday.

With the manager out of office, if not gone from the town, Jackman residents are turning back to the work of securing their emergency medical care, which was threatened last summer, and searching for a solution to the frequent blackouts that roll through with winter storms.

They are also working to restore the community’s reputation, which many here believe was sullied by Kawczynski’s statements decrying Islam as “barbarism” and suggesting that the country would be better off off if people of different races “voluntarily separate.” This effort received a boost Thursday from Maine’s senior senator. Sen. Susan Collins told a group of 50 people who gathered for lunch at Schmooses Pub Grill on Main Street Thursday. “I want the world to know that this is a warm, welcoming community of hardworking people. It hired Mitchell Berkowitz as interim manager days after that, but plans to move more slowly in hiring a permanent replacement, according to Duplessis.

Berkowitz, who has been a town manager in several communities across northern New England, is now working remotely and is expected in Jackman by mid February, town administrative secretary Heidi Dionne said. The Maine Municipal Association, which also had a role in Kawczynski’s hiring, will help vet candidates and officials intend to proceed with care, Duplessis said.

“We’re not going to be in any hurry,” the selectman said.

Kawczynski, who did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, also appears to be moving on. “I think it improbable we stay in town much past when the weather makes moving practical,” he wrote in a post on the New Albion website the day after he was fired.

The 37 year old former manager was paid $30,000 upon the termination of his contract. He has since started a new website and is soliciting donations to “support white civil rights in America.”

For Bob Foster, who came to see Collins speak at Schmooses, that sum is a bitter pill. “I kinda frowned on paying him to leave, but it the lesser of two evils I guess,” said the 83 year old retired forestry worker.

The payment was made even as the town, which has a population of fewer than 900 people, is searching for funds to support the Jackman Community Health Center.

With the nearest hospital 50 miles away, the Penobscot Community Health Care facility is the primary medical care for a large swath of northwest Maine. Last summer, its ability to offer around the clock care took a blow when MaineGeneral closed its nursing home in Jackman, taking with it the night nurses who’d staffed the health center in off hours.

The nursing home had been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for a decade, according to MaineGeneral spokeswoman. Since it left, the health center has sustained around the clock care by keeping its staff on call in off hours, but the arrangement is a challenge to sustain financially.
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Department of Agriculture, which classifies it as a “noxious weed.”

It also happens to be a “superfood” high in heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and beta carotene, one tasty enough to spread, like the weed it is, to farmers’ markets and fancy restaurants.

“We have all this sitting in our front yard, and we can eat it, and it’s cheaper than salmon,” said Joan Norman, owner of One Straw Farm in White Hall.

This terrestrial source of Omega 3 fatty acids has added appeal at a time when buying fish has become so complicated that consumers have to consult their smart phones for the latest health and environmental bulletins.

Known formally as portulaca oleracea, and informally as little hogweed, purslane is a succulent herb that looks, as one Baltimore chef put it, like a miniature jade plant. A more colorful description can be found in seed catalogs, which note that in Malawi, the name for the fleshy, round leafed plant translates to “the buttocks of the wife of a chief.”

The moisture rich leaves are cucumber crisp, and have a tart, almost lemony tang with a peppery kick. But taste is not the only reason to eat it.

“It’s a miracle plant,” said Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, who discovered while working at the National Institutes of Health that the plant had the highest level of Omega 3 fatty acids of any other green plant.

Her research was first reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in the late 1980s, but it has taken time for nutrition awareness and food culture to catch up. At least in the United States. Purslane has been eaten for ages in places like Crete and Uzbekistan.

Early Americans appreciated it, too.

But the plant fell out of culinary fashion here until its recent rediscovery by food foraging, weed eating epicures.

“Now you can find purslane in farmers’ markets,” said Simopoulos, who had it served to her in not one, but two, salads at Mourayo, an elegant Greek restaurant in Washington. It was combined with tomatoes and feta in one salad, Romaine and scallions in the other.

“I think anyone who has a vegetable garden this year, the purslane will grow as a weed in it,” she said. “They should not really throw it out. They should eat it.”

The weed is showing up on Baltimore menus as well. Chef owner Winston Blick of Clementine restaurant in Hamilton uses it in some salads. So does Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano in Little Italy.

“When you bite into it, it bursts,
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” said Aldo’s owner Sergio Vitale. Vitale grew up eating the weed in his native Calabria, in southern Italy.

But purslane only made it onto plates in the family restaurant in the past few years. They toss the rough chopped leaves and the tenderest parts of the stem into salads, like the panzanella on the menu for next week’s restaurant week. (In the panzanella, a mixture of purslane, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, olive oil and vinegar and onions are served over crusty bread.)

The purslane’s flavor Vitale finds it “a bit acrid,” with tannins in the stems making it “almost peppery like arugula” is not its chief selling point for the restaurateur. He likes the crisp, juicy texture.

When Aldo’s first started adding purslane to salads a few years ago, Vitale said he noticed plates coming back into the kitchen cleaned of all but the mysterious green. He quickly had a purslane education session with the staff “what is it, where we get it, health properties” so they could help assure diners that it wasn’t an errant weed.

Aldo’s also had to convince the local farmers that it didn’t belong in the compost heap. “We had to teach the farmer what it was, and he’d pick it for us,” he said.

Norman, the One Straw Farm owner, is also working to spread the word that purslane is worth eating.

“If I can sell my weeds, I’m really making money,” she said.

One Straw offers a popular community supported agriculture program known as a CSA, through which customers pay for a season’s worth of produce up front and get a weekly allotment of veggies. When purslane shows up in the CSA box, customers are puzzled.

“The first question is, ‘What is it?'” Norman said. “And you say, ‘It’s purslane. It’s a weed.’ At that point, they say, ‘Is that what I saw on the front sidewalk? I can eat it?'”

Norman’s response to that: “Well, it depends where your dog goes.”

One stumped CSA subscriber recently posted a photo of purslane on the Google group Baltimore Food Makers, asking for help identifying the mystery green.

She recommended it in dishes ranging from Salade Nicoise (“its texture and taste marry well with the oily/pungent things like olives and anchovies”) to the Mexican pork stew Puerco con Verdolagas (“it does become mucilaginous, but the effect is very like putting okra in gumbo”).

“The only thing to bear in mind with purslane is that you either want it raw/barely cooked through, or else you wanna cook the [heck] out of it, probably with an acid along for the ride,” she wrote. “Anything in between is likely to seem unpleasantly slimy to the American palate.”

From July until frost, Jamie Forsythe is surrounded by purslane by day, as manager of the Karzai restaurant group’s Fig Leaf Farm in Howard County, Maryland. He takes some of the stuff with him to his night job,
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as chef at b restaurant in Bolton Hill.

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The decision to drastically cut back emergency care at Kent and Canterbury Hospital has plunged neighbouring A departments into crisis with waiting times in east Kent the worst in the country.

Close to 200 patients a day are waiting more than four hours to be seen in A at Ashford William Harvey and the QEQM in Thanet, with conditions likened to those in third world countries.

Both departments are buckling under the added strain of extra patients diverted from Canterbury urgent care centre, which was closed to virtually all emergency admissions in June.

The urgent care centre at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital

The knock on effect is just 61% of A patients last month being seen within the NHS benchmark of four hours the worst in England and against a national average of almost 86%.

Retired health and safety manager Richard Facer has accused the east Kent hospitals trust of with people lives The 65 year old spent an afternoon in William Harvey A last week when his son in law was rushed in by ambulance after being knocked off his bicycle.

RIchard Facer says the hospitals trust is playing with people’s lives

like a wartorn country, he said. images you see on TV of these overcrowded wards, that happening here.

was amazed at how many people were crammed into the department. Patients were being left in the open on the ward or just left sitting in chairs.

level of overcrowding is something I would expect to see in a third world country, not in a hospital in Great Britain.

The number of A patients seen within four hours has plummeted

staff were doing their level best to cope, and doing it admirably, but I can believe the trust did not foresee what is clearly a crisis, and something that is putting patients lives at risk. The crisis has largely been sparked by an influx of patients who would have previously been treated at the K which was forced to downgrade its emergency care centre last summer after Health Education England (HEE) threatened to pull junior doctors from the site.

It found trainee medics were treating seriously ill patients without adequate supervision from consultants.

In an attempt to retain the K junior doctors, health chiefs diverted all patients with mental health issues, severe stomach pain or alcohol intoxication to Ashford and Margate.

But it only earned them a temporary reprieve, with HEE revisiting in March and ordering the trust to transfer 46 trainees out of Canterbury to its sister hospitals.

The removal of the junior doctors forced the trust to also shift its emergency heart and stroke services to the William Harvey and QEQM, with the final changes implemented in June.

The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate

It means 100 extra patients a day are attending A compared to six months ago.

Ken Rogers, the chairman of campaign group Concern for Health in East Kent,
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says the hospitals trust has made a mess of the situation.

not surprised they the worst in the country, he said. constantly hearing reports about how long people are having to wait.

Concern for Health in East Kent chairman Ken Rogers

expected it anyway, which is why we keep on at them to get the services back to the K because it putting too much pressure on the A in Ashford and Margate.

trust should have seen this coming a long time ago.

probably realise they made a terrible, terrible mess of it and they only got themselves to blame but it not them that suffers, it the patients. Jane Ely, chief operating officer at East Kent Hospitals, says the trust is working to reduce waiting times.

She said: “It is not true to say that the temporary changes at K have increased waiting times at East Kent A departments.

“Canterbury residents are continuing to use the 24/7 minor injury unit at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

“Our emergency departments are very busy, particularly at this time of year.” Jane Ely “There has not been an A at Canterbury since 2005, and the small number of people who were previously brought to the urgent care centre at K by ambulance with a suspected stroke or heart attack, and are now taken to Ashford and Margate, has not increased.

“Our emergency departments are very busy, particularly at this time of year with the increase in visitors and the number of elderly residents with complex health conditions, which are exacerbated by the warmer weather.

“We are working hard to reduce waiting times by increasing the number of people who can be seen and treated in ambulatory care and discharged on the same day. We are also working closely with GPs and community staff so that people are seen at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital.
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Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute is celebrating a milestone 225th birthday this year. To celebrate this unprecedented achievement, there will be a very special reunion from Wednesday to Sunday, Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. Alumni will also be toasting a new era for KCVI, to the promise of the school’s dynamic legacy continuing on into the decades to come at its new location.

Change is not new to KC. Since its beginning in 1792, KC has gone through a number of changes in name and location; in each case, for the better, reacting to changes in social values and improvements in technology.

The school will be relocating to its fifth location in the near future. In 1792, the Midland District Grammar School was at the corner of School Street (Lower Union) and King Street East. It remained there until the 1849, when it moved into temporary quarters in a wing of Summerhill, the home of Archdeacon George O’Kill Stuart. It next moved to a new school building (Sydenham Public School today) on Clergy Street, which opened for classes in 1853. In that same year, the Stuarts sold Summerhill to Queen’s College. In 1892, KCI moved once again, from Clergy Street to its current site at the corner of Earl and Frontenac streets, with the main entrance on Earl Street.

A number of people of note have graced the halls throughout its history, including: Sir John A. Macdonald (Canada’s first prime minister), Oliver Mowat (politician), Peter Milliken (Speaker of the House of Commons and head boy at KC, 1963 64), Hugh Dillon (CBC actor and musician), Simon Whitfield (Olympic gold and silver medallist), Robert Mundell (Nobel laureate and father of the ‘Euro’) and Diane MacMillan Polley (actor and mother of Sarah Polley, Canadian actor and producer. Diane was head girl at KC, 1953 54). Last but certainly not the least of celebrated KC alumni are the recently named members to the Order of Canada, the iconic Canadian band The Tragically Hip.

KC received a number of distinctions in later years. In 1990, through efforts of teacher George Dillon with the Heraldry Society, Ontario Lt. Gov. Lincoln Alexander awarded KC with its first coat of arms. It was the first such presentation in Canada. Two years later, in the school’s bicentennial year, Gov. Gen. Raymond Hnatyshyn presented the school with a new coat of arms to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the school. Later, KC was granted the right to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate program. In 2012, the Fraser Institute ranked KC as the top performing high school in the Limestone District School Board and among the top 10 in Canada.

KCVI was the first high school in Canada to establish its own radio station, 91.9 FM The Cave,
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in 1997. Just in the last few weeks, the CRTC approved the school’s application for a major boost in its transmitting power.

The reunion will take place in and around KC. For the past 225 years, KCVI, the second oldest high school in Canada and the oldest in Ontario, has provided generations of Kingston and area families with excellent education and fond memories. Because the building at its current location is scheduled to close in the near future, this reunion will be the last opportunity for former students to visit its cherished, hallowed halls. The school, as a concept separate from the building, will be moving to a new location to share a new building and name with another iconic high school, Queen Elizabeth Collegiate and Vocational Institute (1955 2016). It is hoped that the new school name will recognize and embrace both schools in some clear, visible way so that each school can continue to build on its history and traditions well into the future. At the same time, and on a solid foundation of the merging legacies of both historic schools, the new school will begin to build its own strong traditions and heritage. The late Ron Ede, former teacher and the KCVI archivist and historian in 1992, wrote:

“As the glass of time ekes out the few remaining grains of sand of another century, the KC alumni hope nothing unforeseen occurs to interrupt the flow, and that Father Time will, in his wisdom, invert the glass inaugurating the third century of KCVI.” Ron Ede, The KCVI Times, 1992.

Perhaps this thought still rings true as KC enters a new era.

The reunion committee has been busy organizing a long weekend of exciting activities brimming with nostalgia, memories and old friendships. Alumni from as far back as the 1930s and, in a handful of cases even farther back in time, are expected to attend.

The four days will be packed with numerous exciting activities that will cater to everyone’s taste. There will be sports events (or exhibits) such as volleyball, basketball, rowing, girls field hockey, boys football and a historic harrier race, et cetera. A golf tournament is being arranged at The Landings golf club by the airport. There will be a coffee house/wine and cheese event when some alumni may once again wish to display their talents on the stage of KC’s magnificent auditorium. Several areas of the school will be accessible to highlight student work and achievements, and there is to be a drama festival in the auditorium. A gala and talent show will be held at the Rogers K Rock Centre on the Saturday night, after which alumni reunion groups may choose to meet at various pubs and restaurants in the downtown Kingston area.

As one would expect, there will be an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia of the school’s past on display throughout the weekend. Of special note are the memorial plaques in the main stairwell commemorating the sacrifices of former KC students,
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who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars of the last century. There is also a special display inside the entrance to the library highlighting images and short biographies of many former students who faced the perils of those wars.

The reunion will be a fitting way to bridge KC’s storied past with its future in the Kingston community. It should be an event that will be well remembered for years to come.

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Jay woke in darkness, the summer and a girlhood behind him. A sharp pain stabbed through his stomach. In an hour, he would be a high school freshman.

Please, he thought, don’t let anyone recognize me.

He dragged himself out of bed and lumbered through the double wide trailer he shared with his mom and two sisters. His mother was at work, his siblings asleep. Only his dog, a 9 pound Chihuahua named Chico, marked Jay’s passing from one life to the next.

Jay faced the bathroom mirror. He was 14. His dark brown hair spiked just the right way. His jaw was square, his eyebrows full and wild. But his body betrayed him. He was 5 foot 2 and curvy in all the wrong places.

He tugged one sports bra over his chest and then another. He pulled on a black T shirt, hoping it would hide his curves. He eyed the silhouette, and his stomach rumbled with anxiety.

He had finished eighth grade with long hair and a different name. At his new school in southwest Washington, most of the 2,000 kids had never known the girl Jay supposed he used to be. As long as his contours didn’t give his secret away, “Jay” was a clean slate, a boy who could be anyone.

He took one final look in the mirror. Puberty was pulling him in a direction he didn’t want to go, and reversing it would take more than a haircut and an outfit. But how much more? He was a boyish work in progress, only beginning to figure out how to become himself. His mom and his doctors had little precedent for how to help.

He had taken great pains to start school as this boy with no past. His mom had met with the principal, and a counselor had created a plan. Jay could use the staff bathroom. Teachers would avoid his birth name, a long and Latina moniker that stung Jay every time he heard it.

Jay stepped outside and knew he should feel lucky. Whole generations had lived and died without any of the opportunities he would have. He was a teenager coming of age in an era Time magazine had declared the Transgender Tipping Point.

By his senior year, Jay’s quiet life would ride a surge in civil rights.

Barack Obama would become the first president to say the word “transgender” in a State of the Union speech. Target would strip gender labels off its toy aisles. In Oregon, student athletes would gain the right to decide whether to play on the girls’ team or the boys’. Girls would wear tuxedos to prom.

That didn’t make the path forward easy or safe. North Carolina would forfeit $3.7 billion to keep people like Jay out of the bathroom. An Oregon city councilman an hour from Jay’s house would threaten an “ass whooping” to transgender students who used “the opposite sex’s facilities.” Even Washington, the liberal state Jay called home, would consider a bill rolling back his right to choose the locker room that felt right. President Donald Trump would take over for Obama and ban transgender people from serving in the military.

But that morning, Jay was just a teenager, just a boy walking to school. He didn’t want to be a trailblazer. He wanted to be normal.

Jay (right) had been depressed since he was 4. In photos, he grimaced while his sisters Maria (left) and Angie (center) smiled. (Family photo)

He was 12 when “girl” started to feel like the wrong word for him. He didn’t know what he was, yet.

He avoided mirrors, but his reflection found him anyway. There were mirrors in the hallway and next to the kitchen table. Turned off, the flat screen TV was a black projection of the body he tried to hide. Even the coffee table, a glass top smeared with after school snacks, caught his form.

His face was round and so was his body. He turned away in disgust.

His family called him YaYa then. He dressed to disappear. He pulled his thick hair into a ponytail, the imperfect gathering too far left or right to be stylish. He wore an oversized gray sweatshirt every day and kept the hood up to hide his hair.

He tried to do what other girls did. He shaved his eyebrows and curled his hair. Both felt wrong. His stomach knotted every time someone called him “she.”

In other parts of the country, people might have talked. Girls in guys sweatshirts were tomboys or worse. In Vancouver, Washington, a suburb just north of Portland, most people looked the other way. He had friends who wore makeup, but no one ever pressured him to try it.

Still, some days, he couldn’t bring himself to walk the hallways. He skipped class at least once a week in seventh grade. He passed whole days in bed, the sheets pulled up to his neck. In the shadows of his bedroom, Jay could be almost nothing at all.

Jay dressed to disappear. He wore the same grey sweatshirt every day. (Family photo)

His mother took him to doctors, but there was no word for the way Jay felt. He struggled to explain that he felt sick because he didn’t feel like himself.

I feel like I am walking on glass, he wanted to say. But the words came out, “My stomach hurts.”

The doctor gave him omeprazole for heartburn and Zofran for nausea. Jay trawled the internet for a better diagnosis. Surfing on a years old iPod, he landed on YouTube, where every video was a current that pulled him toward another. Eventually the river carried him to a four minute video called “BOYS CAN HAVE A VAG.” A 20 something woman with long hair and perfect eyebrows laid out her argument.

Gender, she said, is like a suitcase. When you’re born, doctors look between your legs and assign you one. Boy luggage contains sports, trucks and action figures. It comes with short hair and abs, toughness and courage. The girl suitcase has soft curves and graceful movements, dresses and jewelry, patience and nurturing.

But what if all those things felt wrong? she asked. “You might start to feel broken, like there was no room for who you were in that stifling suitcase.”

People who don’t identify with their suitcase, the YouTube host explained, are transgender.

Jay typed “transgender” in the search box. He watched documentaries and first person testimonials and began to imagine the possibilities. Puberty blockers could stop his period. Shots could deepen his alto voice. With surgeries, he could even rid himself of ovaries and breasts.
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timberland sweaters A tour activity that’s growing in popularity

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Hotel SearchThere’s been a lot of talk in luxury circles in recent years about biking being the new golf. But if the latest booking trends from one of the world’s leading active travel companies are any indication, hiking may be on its way to becoming the new biking.

Backroads, a 38 year old company that was founded on biking trips, says walking and hiking tours are now its fastest growing segment, posting double digit growth in the past few years. Hoppe, who manages travel adviser relations for the company, said those tours had always been kind of a “sleeper” segment, with biking and multi adventure options driving its core business.

“Walking was just sort of plugging along, not doing much,” she said. “Then suddenly, the last few years it really started really growing.” She noted the company has added 300 walking and hiking departures this year.

“It’s a really a growing trend, and we’re all sort of asking why,” she said.

One reason,
timberland sweaters A tour activity that's growing in popularity
Hoppe said could be that perhaps people were “aging out” of biking. “That is the case for me. I used to be a biker; after a double knee injury, now I’m a hiker.” The rise in multigeneration travel may also be playing a role. “A walking trip certainly appeals to a broader audience,” she said. “If it’s a family or a group of friends and you have someone who’s not going to bike, that’s a game changer. Everyone can hike.”

The company, which offers a variety of luxury itineraries, says Italy’s Cinque Terre, California’s Wine Country and Iceland walking and hiking tours are the company’s most popular, while its Taste of Camino de Santiago is the most requested custom walking and hiking itinerary for private group travel.

Backroads is also creating more crossover between its trips and its marketing. “We’ve always done a separate catalog for walking,” Hoppe said. “Now we’re seeing more crossover. Now we’re putting some more multisport trips in our walking brochure. People are doing more than one activity. I think people are mixing it up a bit more.”

The company said trips that combine walking and hiking with other activities such as biking, kayaking and rafting in locations like Iceland, Yellowstone Tetons, and the Canadian Rockies have ranked among its top 10 bestsellers in the past two years.
timberland sweaters A tour activity that's growing in popularity