Long Beach Marathon a super time for many - Contra Costa Times

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Reasons for running as varied as the runners.

Runner Ed Ettinghausen was in a festive mood before the 2011 Long Beach International City Bank Marathon Sunday in Long Beach. (Sean Hiller / Press-Telegram)

PHOTOS: LB MARATHON | KIDS FUN RUN

LONG BEACH — Supergirl avoided flying in the sky and participated as a cyclist in Sunday's 27th annual Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.

Her alter ego, Yuthana Kong, 40, of Bellflower, was dressed in the complete superhero outfit: red cape and skirt, blue blouse with yellow and red pseudo boots atop her white cycling sneakers.

Kong says this year is the first time she had participated in the 26.2 mile marathon.

An avid Supergirl fan, Kong says she selected the costume with Halloween in mind and for its superhero quality.

"When you're peddling really fast, your cape is flying in the wind."

Among other sights along the marathon course.

Some real superheroes

Sgt. Gabriel Martinez, 23, completed the wheelchair marathon as one of the members of the Wounded Warrior Battalion from Balboa Navy Hospital near San Diego.

Martinez and his teammates were funded by www.semperfifund.org

Martinez, an active duty member of the Marine Corps, lost his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Nov. 25, 2010.

Martinez used a hand cycle during the race, which is part of his recreational therapy program, he says.

"I never competed in anything like this before, even before I was injured," Martinez said.

A reason to run

Long Beach residents John Leong, 48, and Jimmy Aragon, 52, and Huntington Beach resident Anne Keltner, 52, participated in the race to support the Children's Tumor Foundation, which funds research to help eradicate neurofibromatosis (NF). The genetic disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body with a variety of complications (deafness and brain tumors) and variation in severity.

The three runners, who are among a team of 20 who completed the race, were motivated to support the charity after meeting team co-captain Olivia Hernandez, 29 of Rancho Cucamonga, who has neurofibromatosis.

"Olivia is so inspirational," Keltner said. "We don't have NF, but we will run for a cause."

Early risers

Husbands Gary Michovich, 53, and Henri Winters, 52, both of Long Beach, rode in the 26.2 bike marathon with their friend, Bill Duch, 63, also of Long Beach.

"My motivation for finishing the race was visualizing a hot man waiting for me at the end of the ride," Michovich said, chuckling.

But arriving at the starting line had its own set of challenges.

"Getting my butt out of bed at 5 a.m. took an act of God," Michovich said, chuckling.

Winters added: "It took many angles to lift him."

Heart and soles

Runners were encouraged to donate their "moderately worn" shoes to Give Your Sole www.giveyoursole.com), which had a tent located near the finish line.

The organization, which is based in Corona and travels to marathons around the nation, donates shoes to rescue missions and shelters in a marathon's particular city.

The Long Beach shoes will be donated to the Long Beach Rescue Mission," said founder Brett Byrd.

Byrd expects Give Your Sole will receive more than 500 pairs of shoes by the end of Sunday.

Cramp camp

About five hours after the marathon started, the medical tent had received almost 100 participants. About 80 people had blisters and cramping, while another 20 had dehydration and heat exhaustion.

"I'm not sure why we are seeing so much cramping," said Alison Hunt, assistant manager for ER at the marathon. "It could be a lack of hydration. They want to finish quickly instead of drinking some fluids."

No disability here

Lisa Hayes entered the wheelchair marathon because "It was on my bucket list."

The 50-year-old Bellflower resident, who started training a year ago, has sacral agenesis, a congenital disorder that has caused paralysis below her waist.

Hayes, who was joined by six teammates and works at Southern California Rehabilitation Services in Downey, also participated in the marathon to show by example, she said.

"I want to show that people with disabilities can compete."

phillip.zonkel@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1258

10 Oct, 2011


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Mel Gibson developing film about Jewish hero

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Kevork Djansezian / AP file

By Courtney Hazlett

Mel Gibson and Joe Ezsterhas will collaborate for an untitled drama about Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, it was first reported late Thursday. Deadline Hollywood broke the news, saying that Gibson "had long wanted to make this film about heroic Jews, and it was discussed even when he was under fire after his drunken anti-Semitic rant during a 2006 Malibu arrest."

A decided departure from other Gibson films like "Lethal Weapon" or "The Passion of the Christ," Gibson will be a producer and direct the film (Eszterhas will write the script), which is being made by Warner Bros.

A certain level of outrage was anticipated when the news broke -- after all, Gibson has hardly been known as a bastion of tolerance and understanding in recent years. Now, Jewish leaders are speaking out about what they feel is hypocrisy in having Gibson involved. Rabbi Marvin Heir, founder and dean of Los Angeles's Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, told The Hollywood Reporter, "He's had a long history of antagonism with Jews. Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting (Bernie) Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It's simply an insult to Jews."

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League, also issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying, "Judah Maccabee deserves better. He is a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty. It would be a travesty to have his story told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people's religious views."

Maccabee, along with his father and brothers, led the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies of the Seleucid Empire during the second century BC. Hanukkah is a celebration of the success of the revolt. 

09 Sep, 2011


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Source: http://scoop.today.com/_news/2011/09/09/7685703-mel-gibson-developing-film-about-jewish-hero
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'Beetlejuice' sequel may soon haunt theaters

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Warner Bros.
A sequel to 1988's "Beetlejuice" is reportedly in the works.
By
updated 20 minutes ago 2011-09-08T14:15:55

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Think if we say his name three times Hollywood will give up their new idea of a sequel to the 1988 Tim Burton classic? Yeah, me neither.

Deadline.com is reporting that the ghostly sequel is in the works, but there's some good news. "The film will not be a remake," the site reports. "The intention is to reboot it by advancing the storyline of the original."

David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith will work on the project, Deadline.com says. Grahame-Smith worked with Tim Burton, original "Beetlejuice" director, on his current project, "Dark Shadows," so he's familiar not just with Burton's style, but with writing for beloved and spooky characters from our past. ("Dark Shadows" head vamp Barnabas Collins will be played in that film by Johnny Depp, who loved the show as a kid.)

Story: '80s movie sequels we'd like to see

Of course it's way too early to talk cast, but you'll recall that Michael Keaton plays Betelgeuse (his character's name was spelled differently from the movie title), Alex Baldwin and Geena Davis are the ghost couple who try to chase Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones and Winona Ryder out of their house.

Story: Bueller, Bueller? Where would Ferris be today?

Best tidbit from early coverage: There were plans for a sequel in the early 1990s, and it reportedly would have been called "Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian." Wow, that sounds like a parody title written for a movie scene where a clueless studio executive throws out a bunch of really lame sequel ideas. Hey, maybe that script's still lying around!

Not everyone is thrilled about the idea. Gawker's headline for a story on the sequel is "Hollywood Still Determined to Ruin Absolutely Everything."

What do you think about a "Beetlejuice" sequel? Tell us on Facebook.

© 2011 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

08 Sep, 2011


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Fall sports preview: Top girls teams in cross country, golf, swimming, volleyball - MLive.com

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, September 06, 2011 11:54 a.m.

CROSS COUNTRY
1. GRAND HAVEN — OK Red Conference and Division 1 state championship team has four runners back, including Claire Borchers and Laura Addison.
2. ROCKFORD — Third-place state finisher in Division 1 has reloaded.
3. HAMILTON — Runner-up team in Division 2 has five back, including sisters Molly and Emily Oren.
4. EAST GRAND RAPIDS — Has six runners back from Division 2 third-place team, including senior Jessie Baloga.
5. GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTIAN — Just two runners back from Division 2 state champs, but junior Julia Bos is a threat to win any meet.
6. FOREST HILLS EASTERN — Fifth-place finisher at Division 2 state meet included two sophomores and two freshmen, including now-junior Clara Cullen.
7. CEDAR SPRINGS — Surprise sixth-place state placer in Division 2 has six top runners back.
8. KENT CITY — Third in Division 3 in 2010, the Eagles have four back, including sophomore Ashley Russo.
9. EAST KENTWOOD — Swallowed up behind powers Grand Haven and Rockford in 2010, the Falcons have five top runners back.
10. CALVIN CHRISTIAN — The Squires were 10th in Division 3, but have four returning, including juniors Rachel Ross and Ashley Jourdan.
 
GOLF
1. SOUTH CHRISTIAN — Perennial powerhouse made 16th consecutive trip to state finals a year ago and returns a bevy of talent.
2. FOREST HILLS EASTERN — Returns two starters from last year's Division 3 state championship and won the recent Kent County Classic.
3. HASTINGS — Hoping to build on school-best second-place finish in last year's Division 3 state finals.
4. GREENVILLE — The defending OK White Conference champions placed in the top five at the Division 2 state finals and have a pair of all-staters back.
5. EAST GRAND RAPIDS — Experienced group of returning golfers will keep the Pioneers in the hunt in the OK White.
6. GRANDVILLE — The Bulldogs claimed a victory at the OK Red Preseason tournament.
7. NORTHPOINTE CHRISTIAN — The Mustangs started the season strong with a 17-stroke victory at the Wayland Invitational.
8. EAST KENTWOOD — After past struggles, the Falcons will contend again for the top spot in the OK Red race.
9. UNITY CHRISTIAN — The Crusaders edged Byron Center in a recent jamboree to gain early control in the OK Green.
10. SPRING LAKE — A group of consistent golfers will lead the Lakers this season.
 
SWIMMING
1. HOLLAND — Courtney Bartholomew and Nicole Cordero lead the Dutch, who have finished second in the state in Division 2 the past three years.
2. EAST GRAND RAPIDS — The Pioneers, who this year should be led by Anna Stephens and Olivia Kassouni, have won the past two Division 3 state championships.
3. WEST OTTAWA — The Panthers' runner-up finish last year in Division 1 was their best as a program.
4. HUDSONVILLE — Michaela Rookus and Danielle Freeman are back to lead the Eagles, who brought home a trophy from last year's Division 2 meet with a fourth-place finish.
5. ZEELAND — Senior Jordan Bullock led the combined Zeeland East and West team to a seventh-place finish in Division 1 last year.
6. ROCKFORD — Senior Sarah Smith, who was the only Ram to score in an individual event at last year's Division 1 state meet, leads this year's contingent.
7. HAMILTON — The Hawkeyes finished fifth in last year's Division 3 state meet.
8. NORTHVIEW — The Wildcats were 13th at last year's Division 2 state meet.
9. JENISON — The Wildcats finished two points behind Northview in the 2010 state meet.
10. FOREST HILLS CENTRAL — The Rangers finished just behind Jenison at last year's Division 2 state meet.
 
VOLLEYBALL
1. EAST KENTWOOD — The Falcons are off to a strong start after last year's run to the Class A semifinals, with a championship at the West Michigan Volleyball Officials Association tournament.
2. GRAND HAVEN — The 1-2 punch of Abby Cole and Kristen Reenders makes the Buccaneers a darkhorse candidate for the OK Red Conference title.
3. ROCKFORD — Solid senior nucleus out to a slow start, but should power up quickly as season progresses.
4. GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTIAN — The Eagles again will be a favorite for the OK White Conference championship along with East Grand Rapids.
5. FOREST HILLS EASTERN — With all-state selection Ali Mitchell leading the way, the Hawks will be in the OK Gold title hunt again.
6. SOUTH CHRISTIAN — Olivia DenHartigh's imposing presence will help an improving Sailors squad hold firm in the OK Gold.
7. HUDSONVILLE — The Eagles, who reached the Class A state quarterfinals a year ago, are without graduate Danae Rosendall, but could be an OK Red spoiler.
8. EAST GRAND RAPIDS — Loss of seven standout seniors will hurt, but the Pioneers still should be in the OK White chase with GR Christian.
9. WAYLAND — Last year's OK Gold champions have Molly Lameyer back for one more season, and the Wildcats should be in the thick of things.
10. LAKEWOOD — Like EGR, Lakewood lost a lot of talent, but the Vikings have a tendency to regroup quickly.

07 Sep, 2011


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Mayor: Tar balls wash onto Ala.'s Orange Beach - Atlanta Journal Constitution

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The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Heavy rain from the former Tropical Storm Lee rolled northeast into Appalachian states Tuesday, spreading the threat of flooding as far as New England after drenching the South, spawning tornadoes, sweeping several people away and knocking out power to thousands.

A man rides his bicycle down a flooded sidewalk in the Palm Lake subdivision in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee in Slidell, La., Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
The home of Bob Van Derwart is shown after a possible tornado moved through the area leaving a Pine tree in his home, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011, near Woodstock, Ga. One person was injured in a possible tornado in Cherokee County as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee crossed the state Monday afternoon, authorities said. Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's department said the storm toppled trees, snapped power lines and damaged homes near Woodstock. He said the victim was taken to the hospital but the person's condition was not known. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
A truck drives through flooded streets in the Palm Lake subdivision in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee in Slidell, La., Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Squalls and heavy surf pounds homes along the beach in Dauphin Island, Ala., Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. The heavy waves were breaking under homes, damaging underpinnings and ripping porches and steps from the structures. Tropical Storm Lee is moving inland along the Gulf Coast bringing torrential rains and flooding. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Meanwhile, officials in coastal Alabama were trying to determine the origin of tar balls that had washed onto the state's prime tourist beaches. Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said Tuesday that the tar balls reported so far are very small. He said the surf churned up by Lee was the heaviest he had seen since tar balls were washing up on the beach in 2010 because of the BP oil spill.

It was not clear where the tar balls came from. BP officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Connie Harris of Alabaster, Ala., had spent the Labor Day weekend in nearby Gulf Shores and came back from a walk on the beach to find she had to scrub her feet with a wash cloth and soap.

"When we walked on the beach, we had tar on our feet," she said.

Elsewhere, more rain was expected in parts of Tennessee that already saw precipitation records fall on Labor Day. Tornado watches covered much of North and South Carolina and flooding was forecast along the upper Potomac River and some of its tributaries in West Virginia and western Maryland.

Flood watches and warnings were in effect from northeast Alabama and Tennessee through West Virginia to upstate New York, already soaked by Irene. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated spots up to 10 inches, were possible as heavy rain spread into the central Appalachians, the National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center said.

In Georgia, officials at Fort Stewart said a lightning strike sent about 22 soldiers to the hospital Monday, with at least three kept overnight.

Fort Stewart spokesman Pat Young said the soldiers were on the post's Donovan Field in a large tent that may have been directly hit by lightning. He said there were no initial reports of burns and 18 of the soldiers were released back to active duty Monday evening.

Rain kept falling Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn., which went from its driest-ever month in August with barely a drop to a record one-day deluge of 8.16 inches by 5 p.m. Monday. By dawn Tuesday, 10 inches of rain had fallen in the state's fourth-largest city.

Numerous roads were flooded, and the soggy ground meant even modest winds were toppling trees.

"We have had problems with trees coming down, mainly because the soil is so saturated with water," said National Weather Service forecaster David Gaffin in Morristown, Tenn.

Rain in Alabama flooded numerous Birmingham roads. The storm also caused a roof to collapse at Pinson Valley High School outside Birmingham, according to The Birmingham News. No injuries were reported.

As many as 200,000 lost power across Alabama as the storm moved through, with most of the outages in the Birmingham area, Alabama Power spokeswoman Keisa Sharpe said. By early Tuesday, the number of outages was down to 187,000, she said. Power outages were also reported in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

The storm system churned up treacherous waters across the South. In Mississippi, a man drowned while trying to cross a swollen creek, while authorities called off the search for a missing swimmer presumed dead off Alabama. Another man was missing after trying to cross a creek in suburban Atlanta.

Chainsaws and blue tarps were coming out in Georgia neighborhoods hit by suspected twisters that ripped off siding and shingles and sent trees crashing through roofs. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency said about 100 homes were damaged there in Cherokee County, about 30 miles north of Atlanta.

To the southeast in Norcross, a man was swept away when he tried to cross a swollen creek between apartment complexes, Gwinnett County Fire Battalion Chief Dan Rowland said. The search was called off at nightfall, and body recovery operations were going to start Tuesday morning. A companion to the missing man was caught in the creek but managed to make it out of the water.

Mickey Swims and his wife hid in the basement of their house in Woodstock, Ga., as an apparent tornado passed.

"I heard it and saw the trees go around and around," Swims said. "I knew when I heard it that if it touched down, it was going to be bad."

Swims owns the Dixie Speedway, where he estimated the storm caused $500,000 worth of damage. That includes about 2,000 feet of chain-link fence uprooted from its concrete base, walls blown out of a bathroom and concession stands and tractor-trailer trucks turned into mangled messes.

Areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that bore the brunt of Lee over the weekend were also digging out. Lee's center came ashore Sunday in Louisiana, dumping up to a foot of rain in parts of New Orleans and other areas. Despite some street flooding, officials said New Orleans' 24-pump flood control system was doing its job.

Heavy rain fell in Mississippi on Monday, and a swollen creek near an apartment complex in Jackson prompted officials to move 45 families into a storm shelter. In Louisiana's Livingston Parish, about 200 families were evacuated because of flooding.

The man who died in Mississippi, 57-year-old John Howard Anderson Jr., had been in a car with two other people trying to cross a rain-swollen creek Sunday night. Tishomingo County Coroner Mack Wilemon said Anderson was outside of the car and couldn't hold onto a rope thrown by a would-be rescuer.

Residents in Lee's wake are worrying about the effects of soggy ground. Part of a levee holding back a lake in Mississippi's Rankin County gave way, endangering some homes and a sod farm. Rankin County Road Manager George Bobo said officials could order evacuations of the few homes if the situation gets worse. The indention left by the levee slide didn't go all the way through to the water, though.

In Gulf Shores, Ala., surf churned up by the storm proved treacherous. The Coast Guard suspended its search for a swimmer who went missing Sunday. Local authorities were transitioning to efforts to find his body, said Maj. Anthony Lowery of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.

___

Associated Press writer Randall Dickerson in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.

___

September 06, 2011 11:25 AM EDT

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

06 Sep, 2011


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