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VOL. 12, ISSUE 620

The National Herald

A WEEKLY GREEK AMERICAN PUBLICATION

August 29, 2009

Bringing the news to generations of Greek Americans

www.thenationalherald.com

$1.25

Greek Firefighters Battle Relentlessly Against Merciless Flames

Thousands Flee from Raging Wildfires in Northeastern Athens

By Nicholas Paphitis

Associated Press Writer ATHENS (AP) ­ An overnight drop in gale-force winds offered hardpressed Greek firefighters a brief respite earlier this week after wildfires raged unchecked for several days north of Athens, burning houses and large swathes of forest while forcing thousands to flee from their homes. A shift in wind helped halt the flames in Agios Stefanos, a township along the fringes of northern Athens on the opposite side of Mount Penteli near Marathon. Most of its 10,000 inhabitants were evacuated last Sunday afternoon. By nightfall, the town was empty, authorities said. Winds whipped flames up to 33 feet high through highly flammable pine forests, and Hellenic Fire Brigade officials cautioned that fires still threatened inhabited areas on the capital's northern fringes, the eastern coastal town of Nea Makri, north of Athens, and nearby Marathon, site of one of history's most famous battlegrounds. "There are fewer hazardous points," Fire Brigade Spokesman Yiannis Kappakis said, noting that the blaze was "still developing." Several houses were gutted, but there were no reports of deaths or injuries in what the Fire Brigade called a "mega-wildfire." There was enormous damage to the countryside, however, with tens of thousands of acres of the area's rapidly dwindling forests gone. In Nea Makri, south of Marathon, local authorities said a blaze stretching for 2.5 miles tore down a hillside toward several homes, and a dozen nuns had to be evacuated from a nearby Orthodox Christian convent. "The situation is tragic right now. There's a huge fire coming our way," Nea Makri Mayor Iordanis Louizos said. "There is nothing we can do, but wait for the (waterdropping) planes at dawn." Officials said 19 water-dropping planes and helicopters resumed operations at first light this past Monday, August 24, with aircraft from Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain and Turkey joining the effort, as more than 2,000 firefighters, soldiers and volunteers fought the blaze on the ground. Continued on page 6

AP/PETROS GIANNAKOURIS

Exhausted Greek Fire Crews Fight Valiantly, Get E.U. Assistance

By Derek Gatopoulos

Associated Press Writer ATHENS (AP) ­ Firefighters battled around the clock earlier this week to try and contain massive blazes north of Athens, as water-dropping planes and assistance from other European nations arrived to help Greece's exhausted fire crews. The fires near the capital first broke out last Friday, August 21, and raged for several days. The flames threatened the ancient battleground at Marathon, destroying homes and blackening tens of thousands of acres of rugged land covered by forest and thick brush. Anti-aircraft missiles at a nearby base were removed as flames approached, according to Greek military officials. "The situation is tragic," greater Athens Regional Governor Yiannis Sgouros said. In the worst destruction seen here since massive wildfires struck southern Greece in 2007, killing 76 people and laying waste to some 679,500 acres, a state of emergency was declared in greater Athens. This year's fires razed almost 52,000 acres of pine forest, olive groves, brush and farmland, according to the European Commission's European Forest Fire Information System. The fires were reported in an area some 30 miles wide. Greek officials estimated that at least 150 homes were damaged. At least five people were treated for burns, and several dozen reported breathing problems, but no injuries were serious, according to the Health Ministry. Deputy Fire Chief Stelios Stefanides said no casualties had been reported, despite the overnight evacuations of hundreds of hillside homes on the outskirts of the city last Sunday, August 23. After daybreak this past Monday, August 24, planes and helicopters resumed water drops following an eight-hour pause, but the wildfire spread across parts of Mount Penteli on the northern side of Athens and reached suburban homes. Clouds of black smoke filled the capital's skyline and obscured the sun. Greek volunteers and residents defending their homes were seen Continued on page 6

AP/NICOS GIAKOUMIDIS

ABOVE: A firefighter sprays water at a burning forest near Nea Makri, north of Athens, this past Monday, August 24. Wind-driven fires raged for almost five days outside the capital, prompting several European countries to send planes and other assistance. BELOW: A house burns

in Dioni, 25 miles east of Athens, on Monday. An overnight drop in gale-force winds offered hard-pressed Greek firefighters brief respite after wildfires raged unchecked north of Athens, burning houses and large swathes of forest while forcing thousands to flee their homes.

The Original Community Deeply Concerned about Fire Disaster Merchant of Arms & Death

By Theodore Kalmoukos

Special to The National Herald

Steve Frangos

Special to The National Herald Basileios Zacharias sat in his silk pajamas, facing the bonfire of notebooks. The Old Man fed volume after volume to the flames. Never looking away, the Old Man carefully used one of his ivory-handled goldtipped canes to poke among the burning pages just inches away from his bare-feet. Blacked paper swirled and slowly floated still glowing red around his chair. No longer strong, the Old Man could not throw the notebooks very far and his man-servant had to stamp more than once on the edges of the Hudson Bay wool blanket hanging from the chair. A publisher offered $10,000 to the Old Man's Scotch man-servant for the diaries. When the loyal Scotch reported this attempted bribe the Old Greek said, "This decides it," and had his servants immediately carry him out to the front lawn of his estate. There as the sun rose over Paris the Old Greek burned every volume of his massive memoirs. The more than fifty years of written memoirs took two days to burn (Time December 5, 1927). No one alive knows the real history - let alone the private thoughts - of this singular man. Basileios Zacharias is one of those creatures of history who seem just too challenging for contemporary academics to address. Continued on page 5

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BOSTON - Archbishop Demetrios of America, in a telephone interview with The National Herald from Constantinople, was deeply concerned about the fires in Greece and said, "there is no doubt this is a terrible tragedy. Our Archdiocese is very sensitive to this issue. Two years ago many millions of dollars were collected through the efforts of the Archdiocese." His Eminence was visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew discuss the details of His All Holiness' his upcoming visit to the Unit-

ed States. Archbishop Demetrios did not rule out the possibility of arson as the cause of the fires. He said, "I think the possibility of arson should not be excluded. Especially in the past it was a strong element because the purpose was the creation of land lots for building purposes. Now we know that the laws are very strict and therefore if there is no hope for the creation of new lots for building, then arson aiming to hit tourism seems to be a factor, or arson might be the work people of problematic behavior which cannot be controlled, such as psychopathic and schizophrenic." Archbishop Demetrios also said

that "we should not exclude natural causes such as high temperatures and strong winds." Nicholas A. Karacostas, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), in a written statement on the fires that have been raging in the northern suburbs of Athens, Greece, stated: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the thousands of residents of small towns and villages in the northern suburbs of Athens affected by the spread of these fires." "We commend the heroic efforts of first-responders who are battling the fires, and we are appreciative of

the assistance provided by other European Union countries, such as Cyprus, Italy, and France, and of the help offered by Turkey, to combat the fires. We have been in contact with the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Washington, and we have made the resources of AHEPA available, should they be required." Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York), co-founder and co-chair of the House Hellenic Caucus, which currently has 142 members, issued the following statement on the wildfires north of Continued on page 4

Musician's Unique Style Paves his Way

By Eleni Kostopoulos

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ Pavlo Simtikidis, a Canadian-born musician more commonly known as "Pavlo" when he's on stage, has attracted more than your average music fan. His unique ability to combine the Greek bouzouki with spicy Latin flavor like that of flamenco (for what he calls a "Mediterranean" meld) even caught the ear of R&B sensation R. Kelly, who in 2000 illegally stole a riff of Pavlo's song "Fantasia" to use in his best-selling international hit "Fiesta". Pavlo, who visited the offices of The National Herald on Thursday, August 20 with wife Sandra, said after realizing the song he heard in his car radio sounded awfully familiar, he notified R. Kelly's team of the sample. He won a lawsuit battle against the R&B rapper and Sony BMG to receive a 25 percent song credit, which has earned the artist more than $1 million to date. But a lot more is to be attributed to Pavlo's hard-earned success and growing global fame; the star humbly credits his Greek roots, supportive family and ever-lasting devotion to an atypical genre of music, despite initially facing many bouts of rejection. "I started playing guitar at the age of 10, but as a kid--as a first generation Greek--I grew up listening to Greek music, because my parents would play it in the house," said Pavlo, whose parents migrated from Kastoria, Greece. Pavlo exhibited pride for the Northern Greek city by composing a song titled, "Café Kastoria" on a recent album. "At the same time, I loved rock and listened to all styles of music, but I had a real passion for Flamenco and Latin-based [tunes]. I basiContinued on page 2

Karamanlis Actively Contends with Burning Crisis

By Evan C. Lambrou

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ With most of the massive blazes under control, Hellenic Fire Brigade officials appeared confident that efforts to extinguish the last remaining flames in northeastern Attica would be successful, with the emphasis shifting to prevention of further rekindling of any wildfires. In a visit with firefighting aircraft pilots in Elefsina this past Monday, August 24, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis thanked the pilots for their courage and dedication in contending with raging flames which burned non-stop for almost five days. "I am expressing the feelings of all Greek citizens in extending a big thank you for your contribution to the country, to Greek society, for all that you are doing to protect our forests, our natural environment, the property of our citizens and mainly, of course, human life," Mr. Karamanlis said. "Your efforts have surpassed the limits of human endurance," the Continued on page 6

EUROKINISSI

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis thanks firefighting aircraft pilots at the Elefsina base this past Monday, August 24. "Your efforts have surpassed the limits of human endurance," the Premier told them.

2

PEOPLE

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

In the Spotlight: Eleni Daniels

By Eleni Kostopoulos

Special to The National Herald TNH: Briefly tell us who you are and what you do. ED: I am a native New Yorker with Greek roots who actually loves all things Greek. studied French and Communications, received my BA from City University of New York, and went back for graduate studies in public relations next spring. I also studied French at Laval University in Quebec City, and did philanthropy/fundraising coursework at New York University. I am fluent in Greek, French and conversational Italian, and I love to travel. I am now founder and principal of my own company, Daniels Media, whose work focuses on multi-media communications, promotion and development of meaningful projects and individuals with a niche towards ethnic media. I also work as a freelance journalist, voice-over talent, and public radio producer and talk host. Since 1993, I have been hosting a weekly program called "All Things Greek" on Hellenic Public Radio-Cosmos FM (WNYE 91.5FM) ­ a radio journal of news and culture with a Hellenic twist. I love the mix of things I've been able to do, from the most challenging interviews with notable personalities, government leaders to covering the latest new arts openings or, culinary buzz. I feel very lucky that I get to experience Hellenic culture from an insider's perspective. Trying to choose my favorite interview is like choosing your favorite child! But there are three interviews that stand out: my interview with the former first Lady Margarita Papandreou, Greek dramatic actor Irene Pappas and internationally renowned singer Nana Mouskouri - simply incredible women with great insight and intellect. There are also other interviews I will never forget - interviews with "ordinary" people who show us how they triumphed over adversity to reach their success. I get such great satisfaction from seeing information you put on-air inspire or improve someone's life. I love the rush of a good story. I adore the adrenaline burst of landStates and abroad. I am deeply honored to be part of a concerted effort to help perpetuate and preserve our Hellenic heritage for future generations. And while at it, I have met some wonderful people along the way. Life is a journey. I try to live by the ideals of our Greek ancestors. I never had any hardand-fast career goals; I am still a work in progress. I would like my radio program to reach every corner of the United States and highlight the achievements and stories of Greek America. But my role as a mother to my teenage daughter comes before my career. My late father was a great source of inspiration to me. He taught me to appreciate my ethnic heritage and love my native country. He taught me love of philanthropy, which literally translated, means "love of humankind" and to do whatever you do, with passion and utmost dedication. He did not get to listen to my radio programs, but every time I'm on-air, I know I speak for him. My mother was just as passionate and loving. I am involved with charities that benefit women and children and co-founded Elpides, a resource referral non-profit organization for Greek women in crisis. Former NY State Governor George Pataki and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney have also honored me for my service to the community. TNH: What part of Greece is your family from? Have you visited Greece? ED: My late father is from the picturesque and historic island of Hydra and my mother is from Methana, the quaint "old-world" Peloponnesian peninsula known for its therapeutic spas and live volcanoes, both located in the Saronic Gulf. I spent my early years in Greece, and I visit very often. My goal is to visit as many Greek islands as possible. TNH: What has been your greatest achievement so far? ED: This is hard to say since I am involved in so many interesting work-related international projects, but without a doubt it has to be my beautiful teenage and college-bound daughter. She is a great source of inspiration and pride for me. Another is my introduction of the Antikythera Mechanism to the United States. through the hightech interactive exhibition "Gods, Myths and Mortals: Discover Ancient Greece" at the Children's Museum of Manhattan, where it is currently on display. Go see it! TNH: What's the greatest lesson you've ever learned. ED: Think twice before you send e-mails and double-check spelling! TNH: Do you have a role model? ED: My longtime friends Al and Lena Cahn of Whitestone, New York are my true role models. Al turns 97 years old in September, and he and his wife have been married for 67 years. They are passionate community activists and great supporters of stem cell research. The taught me the importance of "volunteerism" and giving back to your community. TNH: What is your ultimate goal in life? ED: To become a better person every day in terms of career goals, being the best mom, and making a difference in other people's lives. TNH: If you can change something about yourself, what would it be? ED: I guess it would be being more open to facing my fear of roller coasters and sticking to a regular exercise regime and fine-tune the self-discipline factor. TNH: What's your most enjoyable pastime? ED: Well, I am passionate about radio, so anytime I'm on-air or listening to thought-provoking talk or cool music ­ it's ideal for me. I also love the ocean and cherish my days at the shore, either at Montauk or in Greece. I also love to read nonfiction and really enjoyed Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea. TNH: Share with us some words of wisdom. ED: How about the quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "To thine own self be true." Unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to others; I Iive by these words every day because, ultimately, we must be true to ourselves beyond all else. So listen to me on Hellenic Public Radio.

GOINGS ON...

AUSGUST 27-29 ATHENS, GREECE - Hellenic Golfers from all over the World are invited to Greece's historic Glyfada Golf Course for the Annual Greeks Abroad Golf Tournament. Formerly known as The Diaspora Tournament, the championship is celebrating its 5th year and will be held from August 27 to August 29. This year's tournament kick-off begins with a cocktail reception in honor of the athletes on Thursday, August 27 at 8:00 p.m. with the first and second rounds on August 28 and 29 respectively. The awards gala dinner scheduled to take place on the beautiful green setting of the Glyfada Golf Club completes the event program on Saturday evening, August 29 at 8:30 p.m. Tournament details are available to download from the Hellenic Golf Federation website at www.hgf.gr; or email the HGF at [email protected] AUGUST 29-30 CHICAGO, Ill. - The Taste of Greece Celebration hosted by the Greektown SSA will be held August 29-30. For two days Halsted Street will be bursting with food, music and fun. Entertainment includes two live music stages featuring the music of the acclaimed Hellas 2000 and Hellenic Five Greek bands, belly dancers, Greek acrobats, The Jesse White Tumblers and plenty of children's games, face painting and prizes each afternoon. Stroll down Halsted for shopping where you can find terrific values on olive oil, jewelry, art, accessories, religious items, and much more. Be sure not to miss the drawing for free tickets to Greece courtesy of Air One. Admission to Taste of Greece is Free of charge but donations to the Hellenic Museum would be appreciated. Contact: George Poulopoulos at 847-5098050. SEPTEMBER 5-6 CHICAGO, Ill. - The Metropolis of Chicago will be hosting its annual Family Synaxis and Labor Day Retreat September 5-6 at St. John the Baptist Church in Des Plaines. Special speaker for the event will be Sister Magdalen of Essex, England. The program will include worship, workshops, outdoor activities, and fellowship. Presentation and discussion topics will include "Parenting with faith, not fear," "Ingredients for healthy and God-pleasing marriages," "Handing down the Tradition of our Faith," and "Praying for and with your family." For registration information visit the web at www.gocfamilysynaxis.org JOHNSON PARK, N.J. - The Hellenic Link of New Jersey cordially invites its members and friends to join them for their annual get-together, a day of fun, good food, sports activities, networking or just relaxing in a genuine Hellenic atmosphere on Sunday, September 6 from 12 p.m. to dusk at Johnson Park (Grove 2). The price of $16 (children 4-14, $6) includes hot dogs, burgers, salads, beer, soft drinks and Greek Pastries and the activities will include soccer, volleyball, backgammon, chess, etc. Bring your own equipment if possible. For more information and to make reservations please contact: Spilios Makris: (732) 203-0701; Panos Stavrianidis (732) 873-3351; John Karakis (973) 386-8741; Andreas Verrios (732) 605-7867 or email: [email protected] SEPTEMBER 11-13 STATEN ISLAND, NY ­ The Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church of Staten Island invites you to its annual Greek Festival on September 11-13 and 18-20. The two-weekend festival will feature food, wine, music, dance, song and games. Visitors can taste traditional Greek food, pastries, coffees, sample the great wines of Greece, watch and learn traditional dances from all regions of Greece, shop at the authentic Greek boutique, test their skills on games of chance, spin, swirl and sway on the rides. The festival hours are: Sept. 11, 6 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sept. 12, 2 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sept. 13, 2 p.m.10 p.m.; Sept. 18, 6 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sept. 19, 2 p.m.-12 a.m.; and Sept. 20, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. BROOKLINE, Mass. ­ The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England is hosting its 3-day Greek Fest on September 11-13 when the aroma of grilled souvlaki and baked moussaka will fill the air once again. There will be live Greek music for dancing. The Kostas Taslis Orchestra will provide live Greek music on Saturday and Sunday evenings, food and pastries will be served outdoors and guests can enjoy an assortment of Greek specialties including grilled souvlaki, gyros, roasted lamb, moussaka and spinach pie. Pastries will include baklava, hot loukoumades, honeydipped diples and much more! Games, face painting, rides, cotton candy, hot dogs and other children activities will be featured. There will also be a flea market, cultural and religious displays, raffle prizes, and boutiques with artwork and jewelry for sale. SEPTEMBER 17-20 NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. ­ The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents Greek Festival 2009, Thursday September 17 to Sunday September 20. Featuring live music and dancing, Greek food and pastries, a marketplace with jewelry, crafts, clothing, giftware, toys and a "gigantic flea market for bargain hunters." Games and rides for children. Located at 10 Mill Rd. at the intersection of Mill Rd. and North Avenue in New Rochelle. Directions from the Hutch: Southbound ­ Exit 18E; Northbound Exit 17. From Route 22: Southbound ­ left onto Mill Rd. and follow to the end; Northbound ­ Right on to Mill Road and follow to end. Free shuttle bus to and from Ursuline School and Anne Hutchinson School parking lots. Donation: $1.00; under 12 free when accompanied by parent. Rain or shine! SEPTEMBER 25-27 BROOKLINE, Mass. Registration is now open for the Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat, which will take place September 25-27, 2009. This national retreat will take place in Brookline, MA at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and will welcome young adults from all jurisdictions. This year's theme, God Created: From Created to Creators, will focus on Orthodoxy and the arts. His Grace Bishop Savas of Troas, the newly appointed Director of the Office of Church and Society, will be the keynote speaker for the retreat, now in its seventh year of existence. For retreat details, hotel information, and online registration, please visit http://www.youth.goarch.org. NOTE TO OUR READERS This calendar of events section is a complimentary service to the Greek American community. All parishes, organizations and institutions are encouraged to e-mail their information 3-4 weeks ahead of time, and no later than Monday of the week before the event, to [email protected]

Eleni Daniels, president and principal of Daniels Media Co. ing an exclusive. I also love my public relations work and being on a team with creative and tenacious people. My previous work includes serving as associate editor at the GreekAmerican weekly, the Orthodox Observer (of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America), and communications manager with the New York State Senate. Hmm, did I mention I also like politics? TNH: Has your life path been influenced by your Ancient and/or Modern Greek heritage? ED: Yes, absolutely! I grew up immersed in a very Greek household, went to Greek school and the whole nine yards, but never quite understood all the nuances and emphasis on "being Greek" until I became involved as a volunteer with Hellenic Public Radio-Cosmos FM. Then it all made sense. Since then, I have cherished every minute of my involvement with the Greek American community in the United

Greek Musician's Unique Style Paves his Way to Success

Continued from page 1 cally grew up in my teen years playing in all kinds of different bands, and it wasn't until my 20s that I started to mix my Greek heritage with Flamenco music and Latin rhythms, to create what I am now known for." Pavlo said he had little money in the beginning of his career, and record labels just couldn't grasp the concept of combining the bouzouki with Latin guitar. In his early 20s, while on a vacation on his favorite Greek island of Santorini, he was inspired to compose a melody. He picked up his guitar, and wrote "Santorini Sunset", a song that would set the tone for Pavlo's distinctive style. "My dad really supported me, a lot more than you would think a Greek immigrant would [as many wanted their children to be doctors or lawyers]," he said. "He always told me, do what you love to do. My Greek heritage also impacted me a lot. Most people in my genre that play guitar, or classic guitar of Flamenco, they sit down and play it. I sort of dance and play at the same time; while I always did it naturally, I later found out I'm probably the only guy in the world that plays like that, in that genre. Even to this day, I dance with my mom in the kitchen when she's cooking - it's just something that I've always done. I have two little girls and we're dancing all the time. Greek culture is a festive culture by nature so it impacted me hugely in the way that I perform in front of people. We're not a shy culture and musically, I have a lot of Greek melodic lines in my music." Pavlo began touring extensively all over the world and eventually sold half a million records. He's since hosted his own PBS Special, titled "Pavlo: Mediterranean Nights" currently being aired throughout the United States and directed by 12 time Emmy Award winning director, George Veras (best known for Yanni's Live at the Acropolis; Ray Charles Live; 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens). New York," said Pavlo, who will finally fulfill his dream of a New York show on November 20 of this year, when he will be performing at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill located in the heart of Times Square. Pavlo will be accompanied by five other musicians in his band, which usually consists of three instrumentalists but goes up to a talented 15-17 people, depending on the show and venue size. The Toronto-based artist also expressed deep pride and love for his two daughters Demetra, 13 and Viola, 8 months, and for his loving wife and publicist Sandra, who is of Portuguese descent. "The time [my wife and I have together] is the best. She travels with me when she can but it's also difficult because we have an 8 monthold at home; it's a fine balance. I'm very lucky to have found the right person, otherwise I'd be singing the blues," Pavlo laughingly said. In terms of aspirations and prospects, Pavlo said he would love to collaborate with one of the most popular and respected artists of Greece: Giorgos Dalaras. "Dalaras is one of my favorite artists of all time, and I love his sense of musicality; I think that Dalaras and I can make a killer record." Pavlo has a new album being released in late September titled, "Trifecta", a collaboration with world-renowned guitarists Oscar Lopez (2 Juno Awards) and Rik Emmett (80s Hall of Fame Rock group, Triumph; multi-hall of famer). In addition to his musical endeavors, Pavlo has marketed himself as a keen businessman: he has crafted his own brand of affordable acoustic guitars, also called "Pavlo." Additionally, he has his own wine: a Meritage bottled by an award winning winery located in Lake Erie, Ontario's North shore region called "Pavlo Signature Reserve Meritage". For audio and video clips featuring Pavlo's performances and for a listing of future shows, visit pavlo.net.

Pavlo Simtikidis, seen here perfoming at a concert, credits his passionate Greek heritage for instilling exuberance in his guitar-playing. Among the many highlights of his career, Pavlo said, one of the most memorable was performing for royalty. "I played for Prince Charles and got to hang out with him back in 2001. His dad being Prince Phillip (born into the royal family of Greece), he just got [my music] right away; I love blending different sounds and instruments when I compose my music. A lot of the record labels forget that the common person doesn't really categorize music- they either like it or they don't. For [the label's] purposes, they always want to create a category and put it under some sort of typical promotional campaign. That's not what it's about - you have to write from a real place. For me it came naturally to combine my Greek heritage with Latin and Flamenco music." Pavlos took his most recent tour to Korea in mid-August. "Korea was phenomenal- I'm still in awe," he said. "I've been doing this for a long time, and when I get blown away like that, it just tells you how spectacular it really was. I take a lot of pride - being born in Canada of Greek descent in going around the world and introducing people to the bouzouki and to [other instruments]." Pavlo has also toured extensively in Germany, England, all over Canada, Venezuela and throughout the United States. "I just finished 85 cities in the United States, but I've never played

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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You have the chance to express your opinion on our website on an important question in the news. The results will be published in our printed edition next week along with the question for that week. The question this week is: Do you believe the fires in Greece are caused by arsonists? Yes No Maybe The results for last week's question: Greece, the land of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, has not had a winner in the Miss Universse contest since 1964. Among those readers who have been following this year's pageant, is 2009 the year for Miss Greece? 55% voted "Yes" 23% voted "No" 22% voted "Maybe" Please vote at: www.thenationalherald.com

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COMMUNITY

3

Feasts and Festivals in the Catskills: The Assumption Church in Windham

By Constantine S. Sirigos

Special to The National Herald Two and a half hours north of the George Washington Bridge, nestled in the slopes of the Catskill mountains, is a corner of Hellenism and Greek American history that annually serves up delicious food and a beautiful community spirit. On the weekend of August 15 the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption of Windham, New York celebrated the feast of the Assumption of the Theotokos and presented its annual festival. Saturday's Divine Liturgy was offered by Bishop Andonios of Phasiane and Father George Ioannou. Known for its festivals' kefi and delicious food, the Assumption parish has a poignant story and was born during a fascinating period of the history of the Greek American community, but the focus of this past weekend was the festival. Long-time parishioner Demetri Giannaros said that the festival is vital to the church because it pays the expenses for the entire year. On Saturday, August 15 more than 1000 people are said to have attended, including two busloads from Astoria. The preparations and the festival itself are labors of love for devoted parishioners like Tony Karasis who has been coming to the Windham area for 60 years. The vital kitchen operations are manned by the Moundoukas brothers and their friends and Dimitris Matrakakas was the leader of the organizing committee. Peter Casvikes is the president of the community and he was very proud and appreciative of the efforts of the parishioners. Demetri Giannaros was also present on Sunday and along with others told the story of this special parish that is only open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Some 20 families live there all year according to Giannaros, but in summer there are more than 120. Gus Vetsas, a member of community for 50 years said that in the past priests were assigned long term but more recently a new priest has been assigned each year. The current priest, father George Ioannou is a true son of the community. He grew up next-door to the church in the famous Olympia Hotel, one of a number of resorts owned by his father, Archie Ioannou. The sounds of Greece that were heard in the Catskill Valley Saturday evening prompted many reminiscences as Windham was the heart of the Greek resort and nightclub scene form the 1950s to the mid-1980s. People spoke fondly of days spent with family and friends at hotels and evenings at nightclubs with magical names that evoke a bygone era in Greek American history: Starlight, Olympia, Sugar Maples, Kalithea, Pindos, Sparta Manor and the Grand. The busiest was said to be the Sunset Hotel, which was owned by Stamos family. Archie Ioannou owned a number of hotels. Beginning with the Olympia in 1957, he also owned the Starlight, the Sugar Maples and the Hilltop House. Gus Vetsas explained that from WWII until the 1960s traveling to age of 14 and joined his brother in Troy, Montana. After his brother became ill, William had to fend for himself and after working as a cowboy and on the railroads, he studied English and journalism by day at UCLA and waited tables at night. Losing his Greek accent along the way, he traveled east to work first for the Boston Globe and later for the New York Times. After marrying Maria Kouroyennis, at the age of 40 William contracted tuberculosis. He began to pray and vowed to the Theotokos that if he survived he would build her a church. While recovering in the Catskill Mountains of New York in the 1950s, an

COSTAS GIOVANIS

Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, attended by Rev. George Ioannou and a deacon, presides over an artoklasia (blessing of the loaves) service on the feast of the Dormition at the Assumption Church in Windham.

TNH/C. SIRIGOS

(L-R) Demetris Giannaros, Panayiotis Marathakis, Peter Casvikes, president of the community, and past presidents Anthony Karasis and Gus Vetsas were among those who worked for a successful festival. Greece was expensive. Many families went to Windham for their "Greek summer vacations" and gradually the Greek resorts were built, with their nightclubs which featured the finest in Greek music including the legendary Nikos Gounaris and the Trio Bel Canto. All the stories of the origins of the Greek Orthodox parishes in America are interesting but the story of the Church of the Assumption of Windham is particularly heartwarming and is rooted in the gratitude and circumstances of a special individual. According to a parish publication, William Jameson (Kouniotis) Koonan arrived in America from Greece in 1912 at the area filled with new Greek resorts, he was inspired and fulfilled his vow by mobilizing the Greeks to fund and build the church, which was completed in 1961. Vickie Kakaletris said that Willam Koonan lived to 100 years of age. Archie Ioannou said that Kouniotis persuaded John Georgalakis to donate property for the church. The founders also included Kyriakos and Maria Ioannou, who raised funds among the guests of the hotels. The spirit of these dedicated Hellenes and Orthodox Christians is alive and well today in the dedication and love of the Assumption church's current parishioners.

Exterior view of the Church of the Assumption. Lovingly built in 1961 to express the community's Greek Orthodox heritage, it stands opposite Windham Mountain in the Catskills region of Upstate New York.

Summer Celebrations at the Assumption Church in Port Jefferson, Long Island

By Demetris Tsakas

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ The Assumption Greek Orthodox Community in Port Jefferson celebrated its church's annual feast day and is holding a series of events in conjunction with its Greek festival and the commemoration of its 50th anniversary. "We are reaching out to members and friends alike to come down and venerate the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary and celebrate along with us," Parish Council President Stavros Karakatsanis told The National Herald. Celebrations for the church's feast day began on Friday afternoon, August 14 with the celebration of Great Vespers, officiated by the community's pastor, Rev. Demetrios Kalogrides. The service was followed by a supplication and vigil to the Theotokos. Holy services ended the following day, August 15, with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy marking the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Mother of God). The Byzantine choir, led by John Saragias, chanted all throughout the holy services. Afterward, the faithful sat down for a reception offered by the Ladies Philoptochos Society in the church hall. "There have been major preparations taking place in our community for the past two weeks for our upcoming festival. The Ladies of Philoptochos are preparing stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies, cheese pies, baklava, as well as other Greek foods and pastries for the Greek festival that we will be holding. There are at least 10 people hard at work in the kitchen every day, giving their time and energy generously," Mr. Karakatsanis said. He also noted that despite the summer vacation season, the members of the parish council and festival committee, led by Chris Raptis, spent countless hours working to ensure that everything would go smoothly during the community's four-day Greek festival, which commenced on Thursday, August 20 and ended on Sunday, August 23, with the drawing of the community raffle. Each year, the Assumption Church in Port Jefferson, Long Island holds one of the largest raffle drawings in the area. This year's prizes include five cars, an 18-foot speed boat and two round-trip tickets to Greece accompanied by a free 10-day cruise around the Greek isles. "Just like last year, we are raffling off 270 fantastic prizes for this year's lucky winners. Everyone has heard about the annual Greek festival our community puts together, as well as the many cars and other eyecatching prizes that we give away during our raffle. There will be traditional Greek foods and sweets on sale all throughout the festival, and we will also feature music and dances guaranteed to entertain young and old visitors alike. We have a fireworks show planned for Friday and Saturday night which we expect to draw a large crowd, while ture, and our social and philanthropic work," Rev. Kalogrides told the Herald. Archbishop Demetrios of America recently presided over the inaugural ceremonies for the community's new church. The old church had a seating capacity of about 120 persons, while the beautiful new Byzantine-style church holds 425 seats, as well as standing room. During the inauguration of the new church, the ceremonial ribbon was cut by Emmanuel Lakios and Vasilios Karaftis. The former is the grand benefactor of the Assumption Church and was selected to represent the community's eight greatest benefactors. There are eight columns holding up the church building from the inside ­ one for each of the families that offered a major donation for the construction of the new building. The old church building was erected in 1959. The new church is a replica of the Sergius and Bakhos Monastery in Constantinople. The following priests, who served at the Assumption Community in the past, were also on hand during the opening of the new church: Revs. Nektarios Kehagias, Vasilios Govits, John and Alexander Kile. At the opening ceremony for the new church, the Assumption community issued a statement: "Over the past 10 years our church has worked with patience and perseverance to make it to this great day. It was our dream to build a renowned Byzantine monument for the glory of God, as well as in honor of the entire Greek Community in the United States of America."

The Greek Festival of the Assumption Church in Port Jefferson is one of the largest in the New York metropolitan area. Famous for its raffle drawings, this year's prizes included five cars and an 18-foot speedboat. visitors can watch the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey perform on Sunday, just as they did last year," Mr. Karakatsanis said. This is Mr. Karakatsanis' sixth and final year as parish council president of the Assumption Church, since his six-year term is the maximum allowed by the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The Assumption Church will also provide bus service to facilitate visitors' transportation needs. A bus will be available to pick up festivalgoers outside Ward Melville High School and take them to the festival site. A large tent has also been set up to keep patrons dry in case of rain. The area under the tent fits approximately 80-90 tables where visitors can sit down and enjoy their meals, while watching the performances taking place. A second, smaller tent will also be set up in the event of inclement weather. The net proceeds from the festival will go toward paying off of the community loan, while the remaining funds will be deposited in the church account. The congregation of the Assumption Church numbers around 240 families. The church was founded in 1959 and is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary in November with a series of grand events. Celebrations will commence several months before the unveiling of the community's 50th anniversary banner, which adorns the entrance of the community center, and will culminate with a grand banquet on November 14. "The events that we held and the ones that we are planning, including the services for the church feast day and our Greek festival, as well as our grand banquet in November serve to remind us that our community is entering a new page in its history. We are heading towards new horizons in unison and better off than ever before. We achieve everything we set out to do in a spirit of unity and harmony with regards to our Orthodox faith, as well as the preservation of the Greek language, the promotion of our illustrious cul-

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The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey were a featured attraction at the festival. The parish will celebrate its 50th anniversary in November.

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THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

Kavadas Appeals Judge's Decision on Ballot Removal

By Liz Rhoades

Queens Chronicle NEW YORK ­ Political newcomer Constantine Kavadas is off the Democratic primary ballot for Councilman John Liu's 20th District seat. In an unusually long 18-page ruling, State Supreme Court Judge Patricia Satterfield ruled on August 17 that Kavadas did not qualify to be on the ballot because he did not have the required number of legitimate signatures, and because his petition "was permeated by fraud." Kavadas needed a minimum of 900 valid signatures. He submitted 1,750. According to the judge, however, the Board of Elections determined there were 909 invalid ones. After being challenged, the board invalidated 54 more, and the court invalidated 57 others, leaving Kavadas with just 784. Satterfield also wrote in her decision that Kavadas was an active participant in fraud, "as well as being chargeable with knowing the fraud perpetuated by his subscribing witness." She added that Kavadas' testimony "was replete with inconsistencies and improbabilities." The judge claimed Kavadas engaged in fraud by permitting people to sign the names of others on the petition which he collected and signed sheets as a witness that were not signed in his presence. The signatures he collected also included an obvious forgery, Satterfield ruled. Kavadas, 27, the son of a Greek immigrant who founded a food distribution business where he now works, also sells real estate. He was challenged by fellow candidate Isaac Sasson, 68, a retired medical researcher, and his political ally, James Trikas. James Wu, another District 20 candidate, who was recently endorsed by Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens), was surprised at the judge's ruling. "I looked at Kavadas' petition, and it looked fine," Wu said, admitting he had only taken a cursory look. RACIST MOVE "This was a racist move on Sasson's part," Wu said. "Kavadas deserves to be on the ballot. Let democracy decide, not the court." With Kavadas out, it leaves the Democratic race with five candidates and Sasson as the only nonAsian. "I'm happy it's over," Sasson said. "We must move on. Kavadas is a young man with a future ahead of him." Kavadas indicated the battle wasn't over, in a telephone interview on August 18, but refused to elaborate, saying he had been caught off-guard by the phone call. EDITOR's NOTE: The Queens Chronicle published the above on August 20. Mr. Kavadas appealed Judge Satterfield's decision this past Monday, August 24, and was expecting a new ruling on Friday, August 28. The National Herald will publish his side of the story in next week's edition.

At the Hellenic Spirit Foundation's 2009 Greek Golf Open in St. Louis: (L-R) Scott Edwards, Russ Tones, Tony Karakas and Achilles Karakas

St. Louis' Hellenic Spirit Foundation Shines Again

ST. LOUIS - The Hellenic Spirit Foundation held its 16th "Greek Golf Open" on Monday, June 22. The popular event is a major source of funding for The Hellenic Spirit Foundation and its many programs in the St. Louis Community. More than 100 golfers participated in the all-day affair. Tony Karakas and Steve Adams served as co-chairmen and were assisted by George Kantis, Harry Lemakis, Peter Tomaras and Peter Katsinas. A Greek-style lunch was provided and the event concluded with a dinner, which included side events such as a raffle and auction. Niko Georges performed with his bouzouki to the delight of the audience. In his remarks Monday evening Michael Tsiaklides, president of the Hellenic Spirit Foundation, praised the golf committee and the golfers. Throughout the day Peter Vaccaro provided assistance and Becky Tharenos, Mondi Ghasedi, Chrysoula Tomaras and Peter Karakas helped behind the scenes. Kim Tucci, owner of The Pasta House handled the record-setting auction. The total amount of proceeds from the event, including the auction was more than $63,000. The proceeds from the golf tournament will be used to support many local and national charities, including: International Orthodox Christian Charities, Shriners' Hospital, Orthodox Prison Ministry, U.S.O., Trinity Children and Family Services, Cerebral Palsy, scholarships for various local universities including the University of Missouri, and the St. Louis Make a Wish Foundation.

Constantine Kavadas, seen here during a recent fundraiser, has appealed a judge's decision to remove his name from the ballot.

Omogeneia Deeply Concerned about Wildfire Crisis

Continued from page 1 Athens that burned more than 50,000 acres over the weekend: "These fires are a harrowing reminder of the tragic events of two summers ago, and have been devastating for those who have lost their homes, or have been forced to flee. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Greece during this difficult time, and with all of the brave men and women who have devoted themselves to the firefighting effort," she said. "As co-chair of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, I will be doing all I can to ensure that the people of Greece get the assistance they need to fight these fires," she added. Metropolitan Soterios of Toronto said, "The heart of every person is in pain, especially the Greeks, to see these terrible fires destroying our motherland, Greece. If some individuals have purposely set the fires it is for me impossible to comprehend the magnitude of the darkness of their souls." Metropolitan Sotirios also said, "two years ago we collected almost a million dollars for assistance to the victims of the fires of 2007. I hope the government and all the politicians sit down and cooperate for the good of Greece." Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh said, "It is extremely disheartening to see these terrible fires burning our motherland, which is something that only the barbarians do and I am wondering who the barbarians are." Metropolitan Maximos believes that, "the fires (are cases of arson), they have been set," and he added, "our thoughts and prayers are with all those people in Greece who suffered by losing their homes and go to Athens." Mrs. Themis Karpouzis said, "I really feel sorry for all those people who work their entire life to build a house and now see it destroyed in front of their eyes by this devastating fire, without been able to do anything to save it." Mrs. Karpouzis also said, "I think that some heartless people set these fires without realizing the magnitude of the catastrophe and evil that they cause." Mrs. Despina Dimitropoulos said, "it is really tragic, what is going on in our motherland, Greece, with these fires. I pray that God gives courage to all those who are suffering because of these fires." Mrs. Dimitropoulos also said, "I do not think it is accidental that there are so many fires in so many different places at the same time, and if in fact it is arson then the situation is much more tragic." Rev. Nicholas Kastanas said, "I pray for God to extend His hand and protect the families, the lives, the properties and the homes of all those who are suffering one more time due to devastating fires." Mr. John Zaralidis said, "it is terrible what is taking place in Greece. It is repeating itself year after year." He believes that, "the fires are set purposely, probably by those who want to sabotage the government." Mr. Nick Manolis said, "I do not understand why they burn their country, which is our country too," and he added, "alas if we believe that these fires were started by themselves. I believe they have been set, this is arson." Ms. Anna Minos said, "my thoughts and prayers are with all those who lost their homes and properties in these terrible fires," and she added, "it is very painful to see it happening every summer."

Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Church in America. properties." Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco said, "I am deeply saddened to see one more time these terrible fires destroying our motherland. I issued a directive last Sunday to all the parishes, and they offered special prayers for this tragedy to end. We are standing by, ready to offer any assistance that might be needed." Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico said, "I feel the same pain and agony every summer and I ask myself when this terrible thing will finally end." Metropolitan Athenagoras does not rule out the possibility of arson. He said, "nothing is impossible because there are people who seek to do harm to the

Nicholas A. Karacostas, Supreme Presdent of AHEPA. motherland. There are some leftovers of the November 17th terrorist group; nobody knows who is behind the fires." Bishop Vikentios of Apameia said, "my heart is in great pain as I see the fiery squall leveling everything and destroying the last green lung of Attica." Mr. Demetrios Mattheos said, "I have no doubt in my heart that these fires were purposely set, they are arson, but the real question is for what purpose." Mr. Andrew Gregory said, "tragedy seems to revisit Greece every two years. Mr. Gregory revealed that, "my brother Nick was in Porto Germano with his family and they were forced to leave and

(L-R) Michael Winfrey, Mary Lottes and Art Lottes enjoyed a day of golf and fellowship and raised funds for charities including IOCC, Shriner's Hospital, U.S.O., and the St. LOuis Make A Wish Foundation.

Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty to Tragic Crash

By Eleni Kostopoulos

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ The driver pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in a Queens court last week concerning a fatal wreck car crash on November 16, 2008 which killed two women ­ Bessy Velasquez, a livery cab driver, and Panayiota Demetriou, a 30-year-old graduate student from Cyprus. Daryush Omar, 25, had previously been ordered deported and charged in a fatal Manhattan beating, and is expecting up to 10 1/2 years in prison, as well as deportation after he serves his time, at his sentencing which is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9. According to a recent message sent by Ms. Demetriou's brother Kyriakos to nearly 2,000 supporters on facebook.com, members of the Demetriou family will be present for the hearing. "He admitted (he was) guilty for charges against drunk driving; running a red light and consequently crashing the cab; and first degree manslaughter. After (Omar was) asked several procedure questions by the judge, such as the above and making sure he understands the procedures that will follow, the sentence date was set," Mr. Demetriou wrote. "My dad and brother will be there that day. I don't want to go for obvious reasons. Dad is going to make a long speech explaining the loss and the pain that this monster has brought upon ALL of us, but more specifically to the family," he added, asking supporters to also attend the sentencing. Court documents indicate that Omar is a citizen of Afghanistan, although he has contested that and claims to be a native of Pakistan. As previously reported by The National Herald, Ms. Demetriou, 30, was out celebrating the completion of her dissertation, which would have granted her a doctorate in Child, Educational & Clinical Psychology after 11 years of study. The above incorporates information from reports posted by the Associated Press.

Professor-Turned-Priest Witnessed a Miracle in Tinos

By Laurel L. Scott

Standard Times SAN ANGELO, Tex. ­ The Rev. James Hademenos is on his second or third career, depending on how you count it. A native of Houston, Hademenos is a graduate of the University of Houston and taught high school physics in the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston for seven years. He then earned his master's degree in Physics at the University of South Dakota and turned to teaching college students, first at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, then at Syracuse University in New York, where he earned his doctorate in Biophysics. Hademenos was an associate professor of Physics at Lock Haven State College in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania before shifting his direction to educating future educators, a change that brought him back to Texas and introduced him to San Angelo. He was an associate professor of Education, then professor and head of the Department of Education at Angelo State University until his retirement. During his education and career, he kept close ties to the Greek Orthodox faith. While he was still in high school, he spent a year studying at the School of Theology in Patmos, Greece. He was ordained to the Greek Orthodox priesthood in January 1988, and serves the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in San Angelo as its priest. He is married to Constance and they have two sons and a daughter. ST: Describe the moment you decided you wanted to be a spiritual leader: HADEMENOS: When our past priest decided to retire and return to Greece, I was encouraged to apply for ordination into the priesthood There was a very large crowd outside the church waiting for the litany service, during which time the icon is carried outside the church by the priests and the ill and lame prostate themselves on the steps of the church hoping that the icon would be carried over them. As we were watching the procession, suddenly we heard a young woman in black screaming very loudly and praising the Virgin Mary. I asked some of the people what was happening, and they told me that the young woman was blind and had her sight restored. What a wonderful and heart-warming experience. ST: What is a spiritual practice you use to get closer to God? HADEMENOS: Whenever I conduct church services, I always feel close to God. ST: What do you do for fun? HADEMENOS: Since my retirement from ASU, teaching future teachers and my years teaching in various schools and universities, my wife ­ who also taught for many years in the public schools ­ and I enjoy cruising. ST: What or whom do you turn to when you feel lost or conflicted? HADEMENOS: I always turn to my prayers, and to my wife. REV. JAMES G. HADEMENOS What: Pastor, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in San Angelo, Texas (801 Montecito Drive). Parish Size: Around 75 parishioners. Affiliation: Under the Metropolis of Denver administered by His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah. When: Great Vespers on Saturdays at 5 PM and Holy Liturgy on Sundays at 10 AM. Contact: Parish President Steve Tefas at 325-653-6074. The Standard Times published the above on August 21.

STANDARD TIMES/PATRICK DOVE

Father James Hademenos has been the head of the Assumption Church in San Angelo, Texas since 1990. He was also a professor in the Education Department at Angelo State University for 38 years. under the "Priest with a Lay Profession" program. Having attended the Patmian Theological School in Patmos, and having served in the Annunciation Church in Houston ­ as altar server, chanter and choir director ­ I decided to apply, and was subsequently accepted. Following the submission of my application, our previous priest set up a personal training program designed to acquaint me with the rubrics of the services and sacraments of the Greek Orthodox Church. I was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware) in January of 1988. ST: Describe the experience of the first service or sermon you gave. HADEMENOS: I was filled with emotion. ST: What do you pray for? HADEMENOS: I always pray for peace in the world. I also pray for the health and wellbeing of our President, those in public service, all Orthodox Christians, for the healing of those who are afflicted with an illness, and for the safekeeping of our armed forces. ST: Have you ever witnessed a miracle? HADEMENOS: Yes, I have. During one of my trips to Greece, my cousin and I were visiting the island of Tinos. The church there is named after the Virgin Mary, and inside is the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. We were there on August 15, the feast day of the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Virgin Mary.

Panayiota Demetriou the day she graduated with her bachelor's degree. Demetriou, who was originally from Cyprus, was one of two victims of a fatal drunk driving wreck in New York last November.

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

COMMUNITY

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The Matrilineal Customs of Karpathos: The Ancient Ritual of "Efta" Survives

By Aphrodite Matsakis

Special to The National Herald The island of Karpathos, located between Crete and Rhodes, is the legendary home of Prometheus. Some myths claim that all the Titans lived there once and called Karpathos the "land of the Titans." Because its jagged coastline provided so many safe havens for pirates, Karpathos is also known as "land of the pirates." Karpathos is also a land where women held and continue to hold considerable moral, social and economic power. Karpathos is not matriarchal, in that women do not rule men, but matrilineal, in that property is usually passed from mother to the first daughter (the protokori), who is named after her mother's mother (not her father's mother as is customary in elsewhere in Greece). In return, the protokori is expected to take care of her parents as they age. Variations existed. Some parents left their holdings to a first son or a relative named after the father; others gave each child a share, as is now required by post WW II laws. Yet these laws still permit protokoris to receive the lion's share and the tradition remains strong. As in the past, women without daughters frequently leave much of their inheritance to a niece, another female in the maternal line or, writes Lillianne Bertos in 1981 "to the second son, who has been named after his maternal grandfather, rather than eldest son ... named after his paternal grandfather ... and if a male inherits lands from his mother, they are to be given to the daughter bearing her name." Some contend that this matrilineal tradition may stem from early "mother right" agricultural communities allegedly located in parts of Europe, Egypt, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. By 1000 BC, most had been conquered by groups with more partriarchal values. But relics and vestiges remain in certain areas, including perhaps Karpathos. Most of these early invaders, it is argued, were nomadic, not seafaring peoples, and hence reluctant to brave the turbulent waters of the Karpathian Sea for an island with so many barren mountains and so little fertile soil. Later patrilineal groups, from the Venetians and various crusader bands to the Turks, did conquer certain scholarly debates, there is a general consensus that this all female cast of talent included Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry and song), Euterpe (flute playing), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy) and Urania (astronomy). The candle extinguishing first indicated the Muse who would endow the baby with her special gift. Athough the "Efta"still lives, there are no statistics on what percentage of Karpathians, either on Karpathos or abroad, observe the tradition or in what form. I live in Maryland, but as the protokori of a protokori of a protokori, I feared that the Furies (also females) might bury me alive in an Aleurva if I didn't have some kind of "Efta" for my grandchild. Since my daughter married outside the faith, the candles were named after the muses not the saints and, in deference to the younger generations' insistence on personal choice, public blessings would not be required. Instead guests could write their good wishes on small slips of paper and put them on a silver tray for the parents to read later. Also, the guests, even the Greek Americans, most of whom had never heard of an Aleuvra, could not be expected to eat seven forkfulls of what looked like a glob of old clay with butter and honey on top. Instead small pieces of bread (white, whole grain, gluten-free and veganstyle) and bowls of organic honey (and sugar-free jelly) were provided for those who wished to adhere to the old custom in more modern way. After a brief description of the "Efta" and a moment of silence for the departed, I put on some Karpathian music and sang a few mandinathes in Greek. Years later, people who attended my watered down version of the Efta, still talk about it. Several wished they had been given an "Efta" instead a baby shower where women played games like "Dirty Diaper" or "Baby Bingo." "I couldn't understand a word of those Greek poems," one friend commented. "But if someone had sung to me like that after I had my baby, I'd have felt like a goddess or something." Perhaps one purpose of the "Efta" is precisely that ­ to reveal to young couples the divine nature of their newborn and their role as parents.

In the summer the port city of Pegadia is flooded with tourists, but despite them and a history of invasons, Karpathian traditions survive. Karpathos, but few made it their home. Reputedly after the Turks took over Karpathos in 1537, they were so afraid of its pirates that instead of inhabiting Karpathos, they sent officers to collect taxes from the local populace, most of whom lived in villages high up in the mountains to avoid pirate attacks. Karpathos, my grandparents' birthplace, is the second largest island of the Dodecanese. Yet save for relatively small olive groves, vineyards, orchards and fields, most of the soil is rocky. Cultivation requires enormous effort. Until recently, water was also scarce. For centuries such limited resources compelled many Karpathians, primarily men, to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Before they began coming to America, they left for the Middle East, Egypt, Africa, Australia and elsewhere, especially nearby Rhodes and Asia Minor. Prior to WWI and even as late as WWII, men who returned to Karpathos for a bride were often forced by economic factors to leave her there and return for visits (and to father children) when finances permitted. In the absence of their men, Karpathian women tilled the land, pressed olives for oil and grapes for wine; managed small businesses and other financial matters; maintained religious traditions; functioned as single parents and coped with invaders who demanded their land, food, labor or their daughters. Today families are rarely separated and wealth is no longer measured in olive trees and goats. But centuries of keeping the home fires burning undoubtedly endowed Karpathian women with a certain self-confidence and status, which, most of my Karpathian relatives proudly assert, still make the birth of a daughter as much cause for celebration as the birth of a son. In contrast, recent research indicates that in most areas of the world, the United States included, not only men, but women too, show a distinct preference for a son over a daughter for their first born or as an only child. In the "Efta," an ancient ritual still performed on Karpathos, which refers to the 7th day after a birth, the mother and her mother play a central role. Based on written accounts, Karpathian friends and relatives, and the "Eftas" I've attended, the particulars of the ceremony vary from one village to the next and have altered over time.

The main room of a traditional Karpathian home has an upper level (called a sofa) for sleeping and devotions and a lower level for guests Yet the basics remain relatively unchanged. Seven days after a birth, family and friends (men, women and children) gather at the parents' home with gifts of food and drink. The mother and her mother then wrap the baby in (or pass the baby through) the father's best shirt (if a girl) or in (or through) the mother's best blouse (if a boy), symbolizing the child's need to love and respect the opposite sexed parent. The baby is then placed in a silk sheet held up by several protokoris. As they rock the baby back and forth, they sing mandinathes (self-composed rhymed couplets) honoring the newborn and its relatives. Traditionally, in some areas, this first set of mandinathes were primarily praises of the mother and grandmother. In a table in the center of the room is a silver tray and the Aleuvra, a gooey mixture of wheat, salt and water (the essentials of life) spiced with cinnamon and cloves. The Aleuvra is shaped like a crater, yet soft enough to be cut by a fork. Inside the crater are fresh honey and butter, representing hopes for a rich sweet life for the child. Nearby are seven thin candles in a tray or in small bowls of sugar. One candle is for Christ, one for the Virgin Mary, and the rest, each for a Christian saint. The saint whose candle extinguishes first becomes the baby's patron saint. After the mother and grandmother light the candles, guests place gifts of gold, money or religious significance into the silver tray, then take a forkful of Aleurva, dip it into the honey and butter and eat it. Seven forkfills later, they bless the baby and its relatives often in the form of an original, highly personal and emotional mandinatha. Lamentations for deceased family members are usually coupled with wishes that the hares (graces, gifts, best traits) of the deceased live on in the newborn. Music, dancing and food follow. Afterwards, guests take home the extras. The uneaten Aleurva, however, is left for the Moirai (the Fates) who are expected to come that night and bless the child with a good life. Oral tradition describes a preChristian "Efta" where candles were named after the nine muses, the daughters of Zeus and Memory. These goddesses represent various forms of art and science. Despite

ALL HISTORY

The Brilliant and Mysterious Sir Basil Zaharoff, the Original Merchant of Death

1 Zacharias was born a Greek in the Ottoman Empire who in time became a French naturalized-citizen and lived to be a British knight, and as if that were not enough - in his old age, became the protector of Monte Carlo. In his lifetime, Basileios Zacharias's global-wide business dealings in munitions, banking, the very first of the Western-European oil cartels, newspaper publishing, and legalized gambling, each in their own way influenced the lives and cultures of millions of people. While this is the full and now recognized sweep of Zacharias's professional interests he is most well known as the director and chairman of the Vickers Limited munitions firm during World War I. As we shall see, to this day Zacharias's business methods are known as the `Zaharoff System,' which is the coordinated employment of espionage, propaganda and the bribing of politicians, journalists, military personnel and associated others. These methods are still known by this phrase within the international arms trade. By 1925, the New York Times listed Zacharias as the fourth richest man in the world with only Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller and the King of England having more documented wealth (January 25). Many individuals from around the globe challenged this claim, asserting Zacharias was far richer than public sources were willing to acknowledge. So why don't we hear more of this man in the pages of history? Various books and several documentary films have attempted to reckon with this one individual. Yet, rather, than a full-accounting of Zacharias' ascendance and full-acceptance into the financial, and social worlds he so successfully involved himself with, he has become a scapegoat. Zacharias' name and life have taken on mythic dimensions. While certainly no innocent, Zacharias has been stigmatized so that other men can remain unknown to history. This intentional diversion was initiated and maintained so that those who really profited by Zacharias' actions, and their many descendants, can remain unblemished and their ill-gotten fortunes unchallenged. Reconsidering Zacharias's life and actions can go a great distance in offering insights into the origins and daily business practices common among the global corporate behemoths that now are attempting to seize control of the planet. Zaharias Basileios Zacharias was born of Greek parents on October 6, 1849, in the Anatolian coast town of Mula, in what was then, the Ottoman Empire. The name `Zaharoff' was adopted by the Zacharias family while in exile in Russia following the 1821 anti-Greek Easter pogroms. The Zaharoff, returned to Turkey, in the 1840s and by 1855, lived in the Tatavla neighborhood of Constantinople. While young Basileios Zaharoff's early life is a topic of debate it has always been accepted that he had an amazing ability with languages. Many reports pose Zaharoff spoke at the end of his life no less than 14 languages. After several early exploits, at 24 years of age, Zaharoff was in Athens and a friend of Stefanos Skouloudis, a financier, diplomat, and future Greek prime minister. By chance another friend of Skouloudis's, a Swedish captain, was just then leaving his job as representative of arms manufacturer Thorsten Nordenfelt. It was Skouloudis who recommended young Zaharoff to fill this vacancy. On October 14, 1877, Zaharoff began a spectacular career as an arms dealer. Without a doubt he was the right person for the right job at exactly the right moment in history. In the very late 1880s, what we now refer to as weapons of mass destruction all became practical items of use; tanks, metal battle ships powered by steam and oil, landmines, rapid fire machine guns, poison gas, submarines, armor piercing bullets, airplanes that carried bombs (and mounted machine guns) and all the rest first made their appearance. One of the initial notable series of sales by young Zaharoff involved the Nordenfelt I, a steam-driven submarine which he first sold to the Greek government with (it is said) very flexible financial terms. Zaharoff, then immediately, turned around and convinced the Ottoman government that the Greek submarine posed a clear and present danger and so he sold them two, Nordenfelt I submarines. The wily Anatolian was not yet done. Following his sales to the Greeks and Turks Zaharoff traveled directly to the Russian military arguing that there was a new and significant naval threat on the Black Sea, and so in the end sold, them, two Nordenfelt I submarines. While this is the very first submarine build-up in naval history none of these submarines ever saw battle. As it happens in a trial by the Ottoman Navy, one of submarines attempted to fire a torpedo and became so unbalanced that it sank. Zaharoff also was personally involved in the swindle which caused Hiram Maxim's new invention the machine gun to be--at first, rejected by various European governments. range of light artillery, machine guns and ammunition. Secondly, Basil Zaharoff was always a part of whatever company emerged. The only aspect of Basil Zaharoff's involvement that did change was his ever increasing level of administrative control and the total amount of his personal investment. Without going into any further detail, Zaharoff also orchestrated the buy-out or building of munitions factories in Germany and Russia just prior to World War I. Basil Zaharoff did not only consolidate his holdings in armament companies. Zaharoff purchased other kinds of companies with the sole purpose of supporting his international arms business. Zaharoff purchased the Union Parisienne Bank in France so he could have a direct hand in the financing arrangements made to his clients. Next, Zaharoff purchased the daily newspaper, Excelsior, so he could always offer his own spin on the news coverage of the arms industry. As yet another diversion from his real actions and intentions, Basil Zaharoff became a philanthropist. Zaharoff saw to the establishment of a retirement home for French sailors. Always an internationalist Zaharoff established foundations and chairs to fund British, French and Russian universities. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? World War I proved to be Basil Zaharoff's moment in history. In terms strictly of the Vickers Company's production for Great Britain they built (and sold) "four ships of the line, three cruisers, fifty-three submarines, three auxiliary vessels, sixty-two light vessels, 2,328 cannon, 8,000,000 tonnes of steel ordnance, 90,000 mines, 22,000 torpedoes, 5,500 airplanes and 100,000 machine guns (wikipedia.com)." All this says nothing of what was built and sold to other governments, such as France, by the Company's subsidiaries. Remember this was the first war fought on a global scale with army personnel and armaments literally in regions all across the planet. Basil Zaharoff controlled or owned stock in all the large munitions companies on the planet. As such it is not surprising to find that Zaharoff, in the post-World War I world press, became known as the `Richest Man in the World' (New York Times August 27, 1922; Time March 8, 1926). It is also said that one of the assignments given to Zaharoff by the Allied Command was to ensure that Greece became involved in the war on the Allied side. It is documented that Zaharoff used his contacts within the European newspapers to establish a press agency in Greece for the express purpose of issuing news favorable to the Allies. It is even rumored that Basil Zaharoff gave Ethnikos Keryx founder Petros Tatanis the necessary funds to start this newspaper and so propagate its proVenizelos campaign among Greeks living in North America, although no documentation has been uncovered, to date, to confirm this legend. The level of Zaharoff's overall war contributions to the Allies can be seen by the number and kind of honors he received. The British government gave Zaharoff both the GCB, (The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) and the GBE (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) while the French awarded him the Grand Croix de la Légion d'honneur. All in all Basil Zaharoff, by the time of his death, received 298 medals from thirty-one different countries. After all his postWorld War I acclaim this Anatolian was forever after referred to as `Sir Basil Zaharoff.' Not long after the final days of World War I Basil Zaharoff retired from public life. Without question Zaharoff made this decision because he was afraid of being killed. As more and more evidence became public knowledge concerning the roles of armament dealers in manipulating politicians and military personnel, all manner of individuals began to denounce Basil Zaharoff and his very successful actions at profiteering. This distain took many cultural forms and Zaharoff became for those of the post-war generation - the very symbol and personification of the corrupting Merchant of Death. On November 27, 1936, Basil Zaharoff died in Monte Carlo, Monaco, at the age of 87. Basil Zaharoff, an Anatolian Greek, was the first publically exposed and ridiculed international armaments dealer. More to the point many researchers believe that Zaharoff was not simply another `Lord of War' but the very person who invented this international system. The 1934 documentary film `Dealers in Death,' "presents the argument that the world's largest munitions works, principally those in Europe, work in conjunction with one another, even when their countries are wartime enemies. These munitions works, in the interest of making money, manipulate wartime conditions to prolong wars." Sir Basil Zaharoff figures mightily in this film. Not all successful Hellenes of the Diaspora deserve our praise. Ignoring those who clearly committed crimes against humanity in the past or those criminals who now live among us will not stand. Each and every one must be exposed to the light of public investigation and ultimately receive the punishment or posthumous condemnation they individually deserve. Readers interested in contacting Mr. Frangos are welcome to e-mail him at [email protected]

The shrewd Zaharoff was also known for his philanthropic word among his activities. Maxim soon recovered and through court cases and company buy-outs in 1888 formed the Maxim-Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company. In turn this company became a subsidiary of the Barrow Shipbuilding Company, which was, then, taken over by Vickers, Sons and Company in 1897 to form Vickers, Sons & Maxim. This gave the Vickers group a complete naval shipbuilding, engineering and armaments capability. "In 1911 the company name was changed to Vickers Ltd and expanded its operations into aircraft manufacture by the formation of Vickers Ltd (Aviation Department). In 1919, the British Westinghouse electrical company was taken over as the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company; Metrovick. At the same time they came into Metropolitan's railway interests (wikipedia.com)." All of these mergers and buy-outs eventually allowed Vickers to consolidate the entire armaments industry in Great Britain under their sole control. I do hope I've gotten this sequence of mergers and buy-outs correct and have not left out any Robber Barons (or their running dogs) from the historical picture. Two things stayed constant throughout this process; first the company, no matter the director's or exact name of the operation, always produced (among other armaments) a wide

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6

WILDFIRE DISASTER

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

Thousands Flee from Raging Wildfires in Northeastern Athens

Continued from page 1 Greek officials have not said what started the fire. But hundreds of forest fires plague Greece every summer, and many are set intentionally ­ often by unscrupulous land developers or animal farmers seeking to expand their grazing land. In many afflicted areas, despairing residents pleaded for firefighters and equipment which were nowhere to be seen. Last Sunday, August 23, thousands of residents in Athens' northern outskirts evacuated their homes, fleeing in cars or on foot. The fire destroyed several houses as it advanced across an area more than 30 miles wide. Other major fires were burning early Monday across Greece; in Marathon, 26 miles northeast of Athens, near the site of the ancient battle where the ancient Athenians defeated an invading Persian army in 490 BC; and in Dionysos, 15.5 miles northeast of Athens, a residential area near the site of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the ancient Greek god of wine. Driven by gale-force winds, the blaze grew fastest near Marathon, from which the long-distance foot race takes its name, born from a legendary run after the Athenian victory over the Persians. The town and surrounding villages were among the first to suffer serious damage by the fire, with homes destroyed and pine forest and olive groves razed to the ground. MARATHON MUSEUM SPARED A guard at the nearby Museum of Marathon said that, at one point, the fire came within 60 yards of the building, whose exhibits include weapons and skeletons from the ancient battle. But the museum, which displays remains from the burial site of the 192 ancient Athenian warriors killed in the battle, and the nearby ancient fortress town of Ramnous, home to two 2,500-yearold temples, were both spared. The two sites the inferno approached are about 31 miles north of Athens, the country's capital: the Marathon Archaeological Museum and the site of Ramnous in the prefecture of Ramnounta, where the 6th Century BC Temple of Nemesis is located. Flames fanned by strong winds came as close as 1 kilometer from the site in Ramnounta, believed to be one of Greece's first municipalities from antiquity, but the site was not threatened by the fires, the country's worst since 2007, according to Culture Ministry Spokesman George Mouroutis. "There is no danger currently, and it does not seem there will be further danger," Mouroutis told Bloomberg News in a phone interview. There was water on the site and the brush had been cleared, which helped avoid damage, he added. Anti-aircraft missiles were also removed from a nearby military base as a precaution when the flames approached the area, as the blaze's main front moved south toward Nea Makri. fire, but the Government cited the extensiveness of the crisis. "This is not the time for criticism under these tragic conditions. We are fighting a difficult fight," said Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou. Emergency responders were exhausted, other Government officials noted. "The firefighters, soldiers and volunteers fighting the fire are tired, and their equipment is being used constantly. There is fatigue there, too," said Deputy Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis. About 81 square miles (approximately 52,000 acres) of forest, brush and olive groves were scorched, according to Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros, who said the full extent of the damage would take days to estimate. Authorities evacuated two large children's hospitals, as well as campsites and homes in villages and outlying suburbs, threatened by flames which scattered ash throughout the capital. The flames also threatened a large monastery on Mount Penteli. Elsewhere in Greece, serious fires were reported on the islands of Evia, Skyros and Zakynthos. Another large fire was raging through a forest near the coastal resort of Porto Germeno in western Attica, but fire officials said no homes were threatened. Eight aircraft dropped water in the area, home to one of Greece's best-preserved ancient castles, the fortress of Aegosthena, which dates from the 4th to 3rd Centuries BC.

AP/NICOS GIAKOUMIDIS

The town of Nea Makri, northeast of Athens, is seen below charred hills this past Wednesday, August 26. Greek authorities said all fires north of Athens were put out or confined to tiny areas Wednesday, after the blazes destroyed an estimated 60 homes and damaged 150 more. In Dionysos, an area where many wealthy Athenians have built villas, thick pine forest was burned and homes were damaged as the fires headed south toward Athens and flames jumped past Hellenic Fire Service defenses. The areas around the nearby towns of Rodopoli, Stamata, Drosia and Agios Stefanos were also ravaged by the wildfires. The Athens blaze started north of Marathon plain, and spread over Mount Penteli on the city's northside limits, threatening outlying suburbs. Marathon Mayor Spiros Zagaris said firefighting resources and equipment were in very short supply. "There are only two fire engines here; three houses are already on fire, and we are just watching helplessly," he told Greek television. Mr. Zagaris accused the Government of having no plan to fight the

Exhausted Greek Fire Crews Fight Valiantly, Get E.U. Assistance

Continued from page 1 trying to beat back the flames with pine branches, buckets of water and limp garden hoses, while authorities evacuated two large children's hospitals, as well as campsites and homes in villages and outlying suburban areas threatened by blazes which scattered ash on streets across the city. Other major fires were also burning on the islands of Skyros and Zakynthos in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, respectively. Still others burned near the coastal town of Porto Germeno, northwest of Athens, and near villages on the island of Evia, just east of the capital. But the most dangerous blaze was clearly the fire near Athens, which started north of the Marathon plain, and spread over Mount Penteli. As wildfires raged, crews tried to exploit a lull in winds this past Monday to push the fires back from the outskirts of the Greek capital. But the flames still spread and threatened property further to the north. A dozen elderly nuns were evacuated from the threatened convent of Saint Ephraim near the coastal town of Nea Makri, north of Athens, where volunteers with water-soaked towels wrapped around their necks fought off the flames with tree branches. 100 FEET HIGH "The flames were 30 meters (100 feet) high," said one of the rescued nuns, wearing black headscarf and a surgical mask. "Thankfully they came and rescued us." At the Saint Ephraim Monastery, buildings were silhouetted against the red sky, and monastery bells clanged in warning. Concerned workers shoveled sand to retard the fire's progress, and nuns carried a basket with Saint Ephraim's relics to a secure location away from the aphe said. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis toured the fire-affected areas on Sunday, amid complaints that his government's response to the emergency was inadequate. Critics who support the main opposition claimed the Government had not reformed its forest-protection plans even after huge fires swept through southern Greece two years ago. "A compete overhaul is required in the way we deal with forest fires. There is no sign the Government is moving the right direction," Dimitris Karavellas, director of the environmental group WWF in Greece, told the Associated Press. State planners had made insufficient use of volunteer groups, he said, and had failed to crackdown on rogue developers who build homes illegally in burnt forest areas. WELL-COORDINATED RESPONSE But Chief Government Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said the firefighting effort was "well-coordinated," adding that there were a lot of hands on deck. "From the first moment, we had the presence of personnel on a large scale," he said. Meanwhile, fires raged in Nea Makri and nearby Marathon ­ site of one of ancient history's most famous battlegrounds ­ to the northeast of the capital, and at Vilia to the northwest. The blaze at Nea Makri tore down a hillside toward houses, and fires continued to threaten the ancient fortress town of Ramnous, home to two 2,500-year-old temples. Officials have not said what started the fires. Hundreds of forest fires plague Greece every summer, and many are set intentionally ­ often by the unscrupulous land developers or farmers seeking to expand their grazing land for their animals. "There is still a state of ambiguity as to where the forest starts and residential areas end. As long as this persists, there is an incentive for starting fires," Karavellas said. "These are areas that are always being eyed for development." RECEDING FLAMES, EVER-PRESENT DANGER The massive flames started to recede late Monday, as the multi-national airborne effort beat back the flames. As the winds died down, Kappakis said there were "no significant active fronts" left of the fire, which had sent a pall of smoke over the capital for days, cloaking it in an eerie brown half-light. Kappakis said more than 1,000 firefighters and soldiers would remain on duty in case the blazes revived. "The danger of the fires flaring up again is not yet over," he emphasized. Some 500 firefighters, assisted by 300 soldiers, were patrolling the area around Mount Penteli and Marathon this past Tuesday, August 25, firefighting officials reported. A fire was still burning near villages on Evia, they said, while another to the northwest near Porto Germeno was under partial control. As the wildfires started to be contained, the Greek Government faced a different kind of firestorm, as national media lambasted its response to the blaze. Meanwhile, most of Mount Penteli, which separates Athens from the Marathon plain, was scorched to its 1,109-meter (3,638-foot) peak. Experts warned it would take generations to replace lost forests, many of which were burned beyond hope of natural regrowth. AP Writers Nicholas Paphitis and Demetris Nellas contributed to this report.

AP/NICOS GIAKOUMIDIS

A firefighter sprays water on a burning tree as a car burns near Agios Stefanos, a suburb north of Athens, last Sunday, August 23. Thousands of local residents were involved in evacuations as the wind-driven fires destroyed homes and threatened several residential areas. proaching fire. Fires north of Athens razed some 21,000 hectares (51,890 acres) of forest and brush; damaged or destroyed homes; and forced thousands to temporarily flee their homes, although popular tourist destinations had not been affected. Firefighting planes and helicopters from France, Italy and Cyprus were operating outside Athens last Sunday, with more planes arriving on Monday and Tuesday from Spain, Turkey and the European Union, Civil Protection Agency officials said. Several other E.U. countries had also offered help, they said. Nineteen water-dropping planes and helicopters swooped over flames in populated areas and unleashed some 14,000 tons of water on Monday, which helped contain the biggest blaze near Athens, trying to knock down the fire before winds picked up later in the day. They were joined by more than 2,000 firefighters, military personnel and volunteers. "We are making every possible effort to limit the boundaries of the fire," Hellenic Fire Brigade Spokesman Yiannis Kappakis said. In a statement, the European Commission said it was the biggest coordinated emergency response operation this year. There were no firm estimates on the thousands of residents who evacuated or the scores of homes that were torched. Sgouros said the damage would be assessed after the fires were put out. "There are some signs of optimism, but no letting up of the firefighting effort. We have a chance to contain this nightmare that has burned the city's main forest area,"

Karamanlis Actively Contends with Burning Crisis

Continued from page 1 Greek Premier told the pilots, encouraging them to continue fighting the good fight. "Continue your work. Plug your ears, and don't listen to those few who, from a safe position and for their own expediencies, try to criticize everything. The entire Greek nation supports you, and is grateful," he said. Mr. Karamanlis also thanked the men and women of the Fire Brigade, Hellenic Police, armed forces, volunteers and local administrations who were combating disastrous wildfires, which charred some 52,000 acres (81 square miles) of land in northern Athens and the outlying areas. "With the self-denial and the heroism you are demonstrating in performing your duty, you are sending a message of contribution and solidarity to our society in its entirety," he said. Mr. Karamanlis also chaired an Inner Cabinet meeting this past Tuesday afternoon, August 25, focusing on the need to support residents affected by the devastation. After the meeting, Environment & Public Works Minister George Souflias said the measures to be taken would be similar to those taken in the wake of the epic wildfires which ravaged the western Peloponnese in 2007. An all-around effort is required by all to mitigate, and hopefully reverse, some of the environmental destruction, he said. "We will get to work immediately. All services and officials must coordinate themselves, and I believe that, with the help of all, we shall be able to confront this great ecological disaster to a considerable degree," he said. "But we will need coordination, planning, immediate and speedy initiatives and patience, as well as years," he added. Flood- and corrosion-protection measures will be carried out very soon, Mr. Souflias said. Fire-protection zones will be established, and construction of roads through area forests will commence in order to create easier access to all regions. A satellite surveillance system will also be set up to shield the charred areas from trespassers, he said. The countryside will be linked by satellite to monitor land which needs to be reforested, as in the case of Mount Parnitha, the slopes of which burned in wildfires back in August of 2007. Attica will also be placed under surveillance in the same manner, he said. The Greek Government also emphasized its concern for residents whose homes and properties were devoured by the merciless flames. "We will stand by you in any way we can," said Chief Government Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros. Despite criticism from the predominantly opposition-leaning Greek press, Mr. Karamanlis has ning the flames, but he stressed that securing life and property was the first order of business for firefighters and emergency response crews. Later that evening, Mr. Karamanlis went to the Fire Brigade's command operations center for a briefing, and reconfirmed the severity of the crisis, as well as the degree of difficulty in coping with it, but assured the Greek public that Hellenic authorities would continue battling the flames. "The situation continues to be difficult, and a major effort is continuing on all the fronts, day and night, by land forces," he said. The most ominous wildfire still not under complete control at press time was reported near Mount Kitheronas, where Attica converges with Viotia at the Gulf of Corinth, a blaze which caused the evacuation of a resort at Porto Germeno. Another wildfire on the island of Chios was under control, though a brushfire burning on the hillside east of the harbor town of Karystos had still not been extinguished. Wildfires on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, which erupted on August 21, were finally stamped out, as were smaller wildfires in the northern Peloponnese and on the central Aegean island of Skyros. The above incorporates information from reports posted by the Athens News Agency and « ».

AP/DUSAN VRANIC

A plane drops water on a burning forest in Nea Makri, near Athens, this past Monday, August 24. Experts warned it would take generations to replace the lost forests, many of which were burned beyond hope of natural regrowth. been actively dealing with the crisis, making personal visits to several stricken areas to observe the damage firsthand. After the Athens-area wildfires first broke out this past August 21, he held an emergency meeting at Maximos Mansion (the Greek Government's official headquarters and Prime Minister's official residence) last Sunday morning, August 24, to focus on the massive natural disaster which was threatening several northern Athens suburbs. It was during that meeting that Athens decided to request assistance from its European allies, according to Deputy Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis. After that meeting, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that the situation was grave due to gusty winds blowing through the terrain in the specific region, fan-

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

GREECE CYPRUS

7

Michael Dukakis Honored by City of Ioannina during 1st-Ever Visit to Epiros

By Christopher Tripoulas

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ Former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis visited his mother's homeland of Epiros, in northwestern Greece, for the first time ever this summer. During his trip, he received the golden key to the city of Ioannina in a special ceremony following an invitation issued by Ioannina Mayor Nicos Gondas at the Pan-Epirotic Federation of America's convention two years ago. "I finally came to my mother's hometown," Mr. Dukakis said, visibly moved. Accompanying Mr. Dukakis on his pilgrimage were his wife Kitty and eminent Greek American journalist and author Nicholas Gage, who also hails from the region. Mr. Dukakis was received at the airport by Mr. Gondas, together with the Mayor of Tympha George Soukouvelos, and the Ioannina City Council Speaker Vasilios Cosmas. Mr. Dukakis arrived in Ioannina on the evening of August 21. Mr. Gondas called Mr. Dukakis' visit to Ioannina a great honor for the city and prefecture of Ioannina. "We wish him a pleasant stay, and we are quite certain that he will get some rest from his trip by taking in all the beautiful sites that our region has to offer," he said. Last Saturday morning, August 22, Mr. Dukakis toured the city's monuments and museums. The special ceremony in his honor was held at the Ioannina Town Hall that evening. The event began with a greeting from Mayor Gondas, after which he presented Mr. Dukakis with the city's golden key. Following Mr. Dukakis' acceptance of the golden key, a special dinner was held in his honor at the Grand Serai-Xenia hotel. On Sunday, August 23, the 1988 Presidential hopeful paid a visit to the town of Vryhochori ­ his mother Euterpe Boukis' birthplace. During that visit, Mr. Soukouvelos proclaimed him an honorary citizen, and Mr. Dukakis had an opportunity to meet his relatives who live there for the first time. "We have been waiting for Mr. Dukakis with open arms, so he can see from where his mother started out, and just how far she made it in life," Mr. Soukouvelos said. In its report, the local newspaper, Proinos Logos, described Mr. Dukakis and his wife as "very affable and easy to approach," highlighting how polite they were from the moment they arrived at the airport. Mr. Dukakis was born in Massachusetts to Greek immigrant parents in 1933. His father Panos hailed from the island of Lesbos. Mr. Dukakis served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1975-79, and then again from 1983-91, earning him the distinction of being the longest-serving Governor in Massachusetts history. He is first-ever (and only) Greek American presidential nominee, where he subsequently lost the election to Republic George H.W. Bush. Since 1991, he has been lecturing and teaching courses in political science and public affairs at Northeastern University and UCLA, and has been an advocate for Hellenic issues to the U.S. Government. Mr. and Mrs. Dukakis have three children, John, Andrea and Kara. They continue to reside in Brookline, Massachusetts where Mr. Dukakis grew up, but live in Los Angeles during the winter while he teaches at UCLA. Actress Olympia Dukakis is his cousin.

Former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis, right, receives the Golden Key of Ioannina from Nicos Gondas, Mayor of Ioannina. Dukakis' mother was from Epiros.

45-Year Wait Becomes 46 for Greece as Miss Universe Crown again Eludes Miss Hellas

By Eleni Kostopoulos

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ Miss Venezuela, 18year-old Stefania Fernandez, was crowned Miss Universe 2009 among 84 contestants last Sunday, August 23, giving her country the win for the second year in a row, the first repeat victory in Miss Universe pageant history, as the coveted crown continues to elude Miss Greece, who last won 45 years ago. Representing Greece, 19-yearold Viviana Campanile-Zagorianakou did not place in the top 15 finalists. Miss Cyprus, Kielia Giasemidou, also failed to make the cut. 2009 was a good year for Miss USA Kristen Dalton, who made this year's top ten, but Venezuela has now rounded up six Miss Universe wins, and the United States' lead for total number of titles, with seven, has narrowed (the 1997 competition was the last time Miss USA won the crown). Greece has had just one winner in the pageant's 57-year history, Kiriaki Corinna Tsopei, who took the crown in 1964. On the official Miss Universe website, Miss Zagorianakou fared modestly well among pageant-followers, scoring 2.41 out of five stars, placing her somewhere near the middle of the 84 contestants (higher than countries like China, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Japan). Miss Cyprus ranked slightly lower, with a score of 2.23. Among pageant followers, Miss Greece outscored Miss South Africa Tatum Keshwar (2.29), who made it to the top ten. Both Miss Greece and Miss Cyprus fared better among pageant followers than Miss Turkey Senem Kuyukuoglu, a strikingly beautiful contestant who was ranked at a surprisingly low 2.19. They also scored higher among pageant followers than Miss Croatia Sarah Cosic (2.19), who made it to the final 15. Miss Venezuela scored much higher compared to other contestants with 3.42 out of 5 stars (no other contestant scored higher than 2.84). Beginning in 2007, the Miss Universe competition has followed a new format of competition. Preliminary rounds take place over a two-week period before the actual pageant, when the top 15 women are chosen. Announcement of the top 15 doesn't take place until the televised portion of the pageant, and is immediately followed by the swimsuit competition; from there, ten selected contestants moved onto the evening gown portion of the competition, where half are eliminated. The final five women compete in the "final question" segment of the pageant, during which random questions are selected and read by judges. At the end of the pageant, the runners-up are announced, and the winner is crowned by the outgoing Miss Universe. Sunday's pageant took place at the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis resort in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Musical performances were given by Kelly Rowland and Heidi Montag.

AP/BRENNAN LINSLEY

Miss Greece Viviana Campanile Zagorianakou, center, Miss Albania Hasna Xhukici, left, Miss Paraguay Mareike Baumgarten Oroa (standing behind Miss Albania) and Miss Switzerland Whitney Toyloy, right, and other contestants rehearsing this past August 19 for the 2009 Miss Universe pageant in the Bahamas.

Greek-Belgian Politician Leads Green Party in Belgium,

ATHENS ­ Christos Doulkeridis, head of the Green party in Belgium who was recently named Deputy Minister of Housing in the regional government in Brussels, will be visiting Athens to take part in the seventh annual General Assembly of the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Union, where he serves as 2nd Vice President. Mr. Doulkeridis, who is of Pontian heritage, announced that following the assumption of his new ministerial duties in Belgium, he will not seek a new term on the Executive Board of WHIPU, but assured that he will remain an active member and continue to assist on the projects being undertaken by this important organization. For years now, Mr. Doulkeridis has been a household name in the Belgian media, which makes frequent reference to the Greek-Belgian politician and recognizes the passion with which he upholds his beliefs. Mr. Doulkeridis first became active in politics 20 years ago, as a member of the Green party. He has been elected to Parliament for the past ten years with the Greens, who he now leads. Mr. Doulkeridis was born in Belgium to a family of Greek immigrants. He claims that he is self-educated, but this did not stand in the way of him joining the regional government in Brussels as Deputy Housing Minister two weeks ago, after his party had an exceptionally high showing during the recent elections, gathering 20 percent of the vote. "I am certainly very happy with our victory, just as I am happy with the favorable things that have been written about me. However, the most important thing for me is to continue my work in an authentic way, and in the end, this is what I believe people recognize," Mr. Doulkeridis said from Brussels in a statement to the Athens News Agency. "But my success cannot compare to the accomplishments made by my parents, as well as all the other immigrants who left their homelands in poverty, without so much as knowing how to speak the language of their host country, and in the end managed to make a respectable living and offer their children all the best. For me, this is what success is, and this is what we have to promote." In every interview that Mr. Doulkeridis gives, he proudly makes reference to his Greek heritage and his Pontian roots in particular. He jokingly tells everyone that he is a Greek "Pontian-Belgian." "Unfortunately, they don't know about Pontians, in Belgium and so I have to explain who we are to them. My father Charalambos' family came to Greece from Trebizond. My father migrated to Belgium in the 1960s, where he worked very hard. He first found a job in the coal mines and later worked in construction. Afterwards, he drove a taxi and finally opened a mini-market with Greek products. It was here that he met my mother Catherine, who hails from Rhodes, where my parents live today following their retirement," Mr. Doulkeridis said. Like most immigrants, Mr. Doulkeridis' parents did not have much leisure time, nor were they active in politics, since their sole concern was to make ends meet. After joining the Green movement, Mr. Doulkeridis openly expressed his concern for the future of the environment, as well as his satisfaction over the recent political gains made by his Green colleagues in Greece. He said he is particularly concerned about migration issues, as well as the development of environmental awareness throughout the entire population. "I was very happy for the success that the Ecologists-Green Party in Greece ­ with which we collaborate ­ achieved. We are seeing that citizens are starting to realize that the Earth does not belong exclusively to us, and that we have to think about the way we will hand it over to the coming generations," Mr. Doulkeridis said. "The entrance of Green MPs in national Parliaments as well as the European Parliament has brought about significant changes in the way politics are conducted and governments' agendas, and this is what we are hoping for in Greece as well." When discussing the issue of how to handle the ever increasing influx of immigrants in Europe, whom Mr. Doulkeridis points out "do not leave their homeland just for fun, or to expand their assets and properties," he stresses that is important to remember that today's immigrants are in the same position as previous generations of Greeks several decades ago. Mr. Doulkeridis called on all Greek citizens to keep this fact in mind. "Our parents started off the same way, and many Greeks before them as well. Whenever I am in Greece and people tell me about how proud they are of Greeks living abroad who have made a career in politics, I always remind them that we owe who we are today ­ in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia ­ to the host countries that gave immigrants the right to vote and run for office," Mr. Doulkeridis said. Finally, the Greek-Belgian Minister highlighted the fact that environmental awareness has recently become popular and noted that this was a good thing.

Greek-Belgian MP Christos Doulkeridis, who heads Belgium's Green Party, was recently named Deputy Housing Minister in Brussels.

AP/GERO BRELOER

HIDDEN GREECE

Hidden Greece presents pictures of Greece that tourists don't see; the main streets, but also back streets and balconies; and the way of life of people outside the normal spotlight: workers, the homeless, ordinary citizens and some more celebrated personalities, and the places where they live and work which define Modern Greece and its legacy.

Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyprus reacts after making a clearance in the final of the Men's High Jump during the World Athletics Championships in Berlin this past August 21. Ioannou took silver.

Cyprus Jumps High in Berlin

By Evan C. Lambrou

Special to The National Herald NEW YORK ­ Cypriot high jumper Kyriakos Ioannou took the silver medal in the men's high jump during the World Track & Field Championships in Berlin, which came to a close last Sunday, August 23. Ioannou cleared 2.32 meters (7 feet, six inches) in two jumps ­ good enough for the gold, except that it took him two tries to jump the bar at that height, while gold medalist Yaroslav Rybakov of Russia did it in one. Republic of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias congratulated Ioannou and another Cypriot athlete who excelled in Berlin last week: Eleni Artymata finished eighth in the women's 200 meters. In an official statement issued last Saturday, August 22, President Christofias said, "I warmly congratulate our champion Kyriakos Ioannou on his great success to have won the silver medal in the men's high jump in the World Athletics Championships, and Eleni Artymata, who succeeded in reaching the women's 200 meters final, becoming the 8th best athlete in the world in her event." Mr. Christofias also congratulated George Achilleos, who won the silver medal in skeet during the 2009 ISSF Shotgun World Championships in Maribor, Slovenia two weeks ago. "I warmly congratulate the coaches and everyone who has contributed to the success of our athletes," Mr. Christofias said. "These successes promote Cyprus internationally, making us proud and showing the great potential of the Cypriot people." Greece's best performance in Berlin was a 5th place finish by Pericles Iakovakis in the 400-meter hurdles final, which he completed in 48.42 seconds. Greece's other major medal hopeful in Germany, long jumper Louis Tsatoumas, disappointed yet again in his final, missing two out of three jumps and failing to advance. The only jump Tsatoumas made was 7.59 meters (24 feet, 11 inches), well under the 8-meter mark and well under his best jumps in other competitions. The above incorporates information from reports posted by the Famagusta Gazette and the Associated Press.

GREEK POETRY

Dragonfly

Being no more than a man, don't pretend you can tell what the new day brings, nor that, seeing someone happy, you know just how that happiness will end. Things change ­ we never know why ­ with the zigzag speed of a long-winged fly Simonides Translated by Sherod Santos

TNH/ANDY DABILIS

THE FISHERMAN'S STANCE

Looks like someone planted Zorba right in Skopelos town, and this fisherman was happy to get up from his ouzo, water and cigarettes to stake the kind of pose he knows the visitors love.

8

OBITUARIES CLASSIFIEDS

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

Antigone Theoni Lambros, Prominent Voice in Hellenic Media, is Remembered

By: Maria A. Karamitsos

Special to The National Herald This past week, a prominent voice in Hellenic media was silenced, as Antigone Lambros, 83, fell asleep in the Lord. Born in South Bend, Ind. to Nicholas and Georgia Bakuses, at the age of 12, she and her family moved to Greece. "It was war time and Mom said it was so dangerous in Athens, that she was literally dodging bullets every day," recalled her daughter Tina. The family quickly relocated to Olympia, as it was safer, and also closer to the Bakuses' native Vidiaki, near Gortinia, Arcadia. Antigone attended high school in Greece. Five years later, they returned to Athens. The beautiful Antigone, then 17, caught the eye of young neighbor Yiannis Lambros. They married shortly thereafter. In 1946, after living through both the Italian and German occupations, plus the civil war, the family returned to South Bend. One day, Antigone was speaking with someone who asked her, "Where is Greece?" "Mom thought, `Oh my God. This person doesn't know?' From that moment, she made it her mission to educate the world about Greece," said Tina. She then enrolled at Indiana UniversitySouth Bend and studied broadcast communications. In 1961, the couple created the legendary Hellenic Interlude. The half-hour radio show had big corporate sponsorships, thanks to Yiannis' connections from his job at Osco Drugstore. They broadcast to a diverse audience, not just Greeks. When the show moved to a larger station at the University of Notre Dame, a nun from nearby Saint Mary's College heard the show, and made it required listening for her students. Yiannis was transferred to Chicago in 1965 and they moved the show to WEAW in Evanston, eventually running Monday ­ Friday for one hour. The program ran for 33 years. Antigone would open the show, saying, "If it's all Greek to you, wait and English will follow." For a short time during the 1970s, the show ran on local television. "They championed issues close to the Hellenic heart. Their Annual Hellenic Interlude Dinner Dance was a major event, and local, state and national politicians attended to connect with the Hellenic Community," her son Nickos stated. The couple was recognized for their contributions to the community, including honors from the United Hellenic American Congress and the State of Illinois. Antigone was recently honored by the Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago. Following Yiannis' death in 1996, she developed a local TV talk show, "Antigone's Corner." She interviewed a diverse set of guests, including A.C. Nielsen. "She was always there to lend a sympathetic ear to those who sought her advice," noted Nickos. "I hear repeatedly, `your mother inspired me,'" Tina added. "She will be remembered for her enthusiasm, her sheepish smile and contagious laugh," said dear friend Christina Kanatas. "Antigone was a pioneer who led the way in the creation of Greek American media in Chicago. We owe her a debt of gratitude for paving the way for us," said George Bliss, co-founder of the Greek Media Club. Her family was closest to her heart, and she spoke often of her beloved grandchildren and their accomplishments. With immense pride in her culture, she supported all Greek organizations and causes. She lovingly shared her words of wisdom and touched many lives. She embodied grace, elegance and boundless energy. She will be missed. Her closing line from the radio program will be her legacy: "Smile it costs nothing, but gives so much." Antigone is survived by her children, Nickos (Elaine) and Tina (the late Basil C.) Anagnos; grandchildren Eleanna Makris Anagnos, Jonathan and Demetri Lambros, William C. Anagnos III and John N. Anagnos; brother Peter Bakuses; niece Athena Bakuses and countless friends. Donations may be made in her memory to Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago and the Greek American Rehabilitation and Care Centre in Wheeling, Ill. May her memory be eternal.

Antigone Lambros

DEATHS

BABALIS, JAMES SALT LAKE CITY, Utah ­ The Salt Lake Tribune reported that James G. Babalis, 81, lost his battle with cancer on August 14. He was born March 13, 1928, along with his twin brother, Pete, to Greek immigrant parents, Gust and Anastasia Babalis. He attended West High School and served in the U.S. Navy submarine force in Guam and Pearl Harbor during World War II. He was a member of the Greek Church and Athanasios Diakos Society. Jim worked for M&M Distributing for 49 years, thus becoming known as the "beer man." He enjoyed the many friends he made, and he loved working for his wonderful friend and boss, Tuffy Marks. Jim spent his life helping everyone. He found little joy in doing things for himself. Jim was very close to his remaining family members. He is survived by his brother Bob (Maxine); sisters-in-law, Maxine and Sheryl; nephews, Gus and Sam, Jr.; nieces, Perri, Christie, Joni, Cathy, Stephanie and Kim and their spouses and families. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Lillian Boles; and brothers, Pete and Spiro. Funeral services were held at Holy Trinity Cathedral. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests your donation to the St. Sophia School, 5341 S. Highland Drive, Holladay, Utah 84117 or a cancer charity of your choice. We will truly miss this wonderful, unique man, brother, uncle & friend. "May His Memory Be Eternal" DERMITZAKIS, SAVVAS SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Record reported that Savvas M. Dermitzakis, 81, passed away on August 13 at UMASS Medical Center in Worcester. He was born in Hania on the island of Crete, Greece on July 3, 1928 to the late Michael and Triantafilias (Mathioudaki) Dermitzakis. Savvas attended schools in Greece and graduated from high school in 1948. He owned and operated an olive oil and flourmill in Greece. He also worked for the Government of Greece. After immigrating to the United States, Savvas worked for the Holyoke Hospital for a short time. He was also a longtime member of the Greek Church in Holyoke, the Pan Cretan Association of America and the AHEPA Association. Savvas was predeceased by his loving wife, Athena (Paroulakis). Savvas was also predeceased by four brothers and one sister. He is survived by his two sons, Evangelos S. and Michael S. Dermitzakis; his two sisters, Akatarini Tziakis and Evanthia Daskalakis; his three nephews, Dr. George Dermitzakis, Michael and John Dermitzakis; his niece, Aliki Kiriakoyanakis and many extended family and friends. In lieu of the flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Savvas's memory, to the Cretan Association Minos-Crete Chapter, 35 Carew St, Springfield, MA, 01104. Please visit www.messierfuneralhome.com for an online guestbook. Messier Funeral Home 413532-5491 GLAROS, JOHN STOCKTON, Calif. ­ The Record reported that John G. Glaros, 91, a native of Ohio, passed away. He was a member of St. Basil's Church. He was the loving husband of Sara Glaros; loving father of Pamela (John) Roman, Sandi Glaros and Olga (Greg) Glaros-Patterson; and dear uncle of Greg Howe. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and other relatives. Funeral services and a Trisagion were held at St. Basil's Church. In lieu of flowers, family requests contributions to either, St. Basil's Memorial Fund or Hospice of San Joaquin, 3888 Pacific Ave., Stockton 95204. Chapel of the Palms Funeral Home in care of arrangements. GREGORY, ANNE NEW YORK, N.Y. ­ The New York Times reported that Anne S. Gregory passed away on August 16. She was the loving Presvytera of the late Rev. Basil S. Gregory, beloved mother of Andre and Maria and Nicholas and Athena; beloved grandmother of Christina, Marianna, Alexander, Anastasia, Valia and Arianna and beloved great-grandmother of Emma. Visitation and a Trisagion were held at the Holy Trinity Church. KELESIS, PETER LAS VEGAS, Nevada. - The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Peter Kelesis passed away on August 5. He was born in Levidi, Greece on February 10, 1916 and immigrated to America in 1951. He was a restaurateur for over 40 years, best known for his showmanship, excellent cooking and the huge unforgettable meals. Before moving to America, Pete served in the Greek Army during World War II, during which-he was captured twice, escaped and returned to the battlefield on both occasions. He started his restaurant career with Benny Binion at the Horseshoe, where for 13 years he cooked for celebrities, gamblers and locals that were drawn to his magnetic personality and charm. Pete honored the Greek tradition of devotion to his family and made great sacrifices to ensure that his children, grandchildren and his extended family had the best education and every opportunity afforded to them. He is survived by his wife, of 59 years, Dina; daughter, Paula; sons, George and Mike; and grandchildren, Maritza, Peter and Sara; two sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation and a Trisagion service were held at Bunkers Mortuary. Funeral services were held at St. John the Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Iconograph Fund, St. John the Baptist Church, in his name. KIETHAS, MARIANA ASBURY PARK, N.J. ­ The Asbury Park Press reported that Mariana Kiethas, 55, passed away on August 13 at Community Medical Center. Mariana was born in Buzau, Romania, she came to the United States in 1995 settling with her family in Toms River. For over 11 years, she was a bus aide for the Toms River Board of Education. She was also a member of St. Barbara Church. She is survived by her beloved husband, Gus Kiethas; her loving sons, Stefan (Diana) Ionescu and Alexandru Gagiu; and her stepchildren, Nicholas, Konstantina and Vasilia. Visitation and a Trisagion were held at the Silverton Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral services were held at St. Barbara's Church. KONTORAVDIS, REV. EFSTATHIOS TORONTO, CANADA ­ The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto said that it is with much sorrow and grief that we relay the sad news that Rev. Fr. Efstathios Kontoravdis, 54, fell asleep in the Lord suddenly in Greece on August 3. He was predeceased by his wife, Presvytera Kyriaki. He is survived by his only son Theodore and his two sisters, Maria and Georgia. Fr. Efstathios served the parishes of Holy Trinity Church in London, St. George Church in Toronto, Holy Cross Church in Windsor and St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Toronto. His former parishioners and friends were invited to pay their respects at St. Irene Chrysovalantou Church, where Father was lying in vigil. Trisagion prayers, a Divine Liturgy and the funeral service were all held at St. Irene Chrysovalantou. KOOPER, JOHN CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. ­ The Northwest Herald reported that John "Koutoupes" Kooper, 87, passed away August 9 at Eastgate Manor. He was born January 2, 1922, in Piraeus, Greece, the youngest of 11 children. He immigrated to the United States in the 1940s. He served in the Merchant Marines with the U.S. Coast Guard for many years before pursuing a career as a painter and decorator. He was a member of St. Sophia Church in Elgin. He was predeceased in death by his parents and his wife of 56 years, Kay Kooper. He is survived by his children, Steve (Cathy) Kooper and Venus Diane (George) Mueller; his grandchildren, Cassandra, Nichelle, Michael, Brittani and Deena; and his greatgrandchildren, Cailyn, Lincoln, Aydan and Conner. Visitation and a Trisagion were held at Laird Funeral Home and the funeral service was held at St. Sophia Church. LADAS, CONSTANTINE MUSKEGON, Mich. ­ The Muskegon Chronicle reported that, Constantine Ladas, 77, passed away on August 7 at Beautmont Hospital. He was known to all as Dean and practiced interior architectural design at Dean Ladas Designs. He was born April 26, 1932 to Michael and Mary (Dedes) Ladas. His parents immigrated to the United States from Arcadia, Greece and Dean's upbringing was in the local Greek community where he became fluent in the Greek language. Showing great talent in art and design, he pursued an education in that field, gaining a degree in interior design at the Rhode Island school of Design and a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. He practiced interior design and architecture in the Detroit area for 40 years, the last 30 years in his own office. His work was frequently reviewed by design journals including Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful Home Building and the Detroit Free Press. In Muskegon, he designed the building and restaurant where the downtown G & L is located. He is survived by his siblings, Paul (Patricia) Ladas and Ethel (Chuck) Peliotes; nieces, Hon. Maria (Kenneth) Ladas Hoopes, Georgiana (Chris) Ladas Grant, Mary (Bill) Peliotes Young, and Dena (Ron) Peliotes Weller; great nieces, Rachel, Katherine, Mary Grace and Clio. Funeral services were held at A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home. Memorial tributes to the American Lung Association, 25900 Greenfield Rd. Suite 401, Oak Park, MI 48237 or the Annunciation Church, 185 E. Pontaluna Rd. Muskegon, MI 49444. MANIATIS, KONSTANTINA MONTREAL, CANADA ­ The Montreal Gazette reported that Konstantina Maniatis, 60, passed away August 10. She was born on April 19, 1919 in Nestani, Arcadia in Greece. She was predeceased by her husband Panagiotis. She will be missed by her five loving children Petros (Eleni), Vasiliki (Vasilios), Andreas (Dimitra), Anthony (Marianna), George (Christina). She will be lovingly remembered by her sixteen grandchildren and her beloved sixteen great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings Costa (Panagiota), Alexandra (Yianni), Magdalo (Panagiotis) and Eleni. Thank you for the memories and blessing us with your ever-loving presence. The funeral service was held at the St. Nicholas Church. MANAVIS, KATHE DAYTON, Ohio - The Dayton Daily News reported that Kathe Manavis, 81, passed away on August 13 at Hospice of Dayton. Kathe was born in Psari, Corinthias, Greece. She worked for Elder Beerman as a seamstress for 25 years and was a member of the Annunciation Church. She was predeceased by her brother, George Stavrou. Kathe is survived by her husband of 56 years, Tom Manavis; her daughters, Toula (Rob) Glass and their children Sarah (Garrett) Jackson and Tommy, Mike and Robby Glass; Tasia (Dan) Cline and their children Molly, Kelly and Charlie Cline; Hresoula (Laertis) Economikos and their children Helena and Katerina Economikos; five great-grandchildren; her brother Tom Stavrou and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held at Annunciation Church with Father Mark Emroll officiating. The family received friends at Routsong Funeral Home. Condolences and other tributes may be sent to the family at www.routsong.com. PAPPAS, SOFIA CHICAGO, Ill. ­ The Chicago SunTimes reported that, Sofia G. Pappas, 88, passed away. She was born in Louka Tripolis, Greece. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, George. She is survived by her children, Bill (Fay), Nancy (Savvas) Trahanas, Gus (Penny), Dimitria (Ted) Iliopoulos, Betty (George) Alafogianis and Eleni (Dimitrios) Mantis; 17 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; her siblings and many loving20nieces and nephews. Funeral was held at Blake Lamb Funeral Home. PAXOS, ELEFTHERIA MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. - The Daily Record reported that Eleftheria Paxos, 68, passed away peacefully on August 8, at Compassionate Care Hospice at St. Clare's Hospital/Dover. She was born in Greece and immigrated to the Untied States in 1961. She was a member of Holy Trinity Church and St. Andrew's Church. She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Panagiotis; her children: John, Tom, Gus, and Agatha Ryerson; her mother, Spiridoula Gizas; sister: Vasiliki Pittas; her brothers: Chris and Demitrios Gizas; and ten grandchildren. Visitation and funeral services were held at the Holy Trinity Church. In lieu of flowers donations in her memory to St. Basil Academy ( a home for children) R2, Box 8A, Garrison, NY 10524 will be appreciated. Offer condolences at www.BerminghamFH.com PETRIS, NICK PALM BEACH, Fla. ­ The Palm Beach Post reported that Nick Petris, owner and operator of Nickee's Automotive Center Body and Paint in West Palm Beach, FL, passed away on August 13. He was born in Athens, Greece on January 19, 1935. He was a resident of the Palm Beach area since 1973 and a member of St. Catherine Church. Nick was preceded in death by his daughter, Martha Nikolakopoulos. He is survived by his wife, Aspasia Petris; a son, Steve (Sofia) Petris; son- in-law, Andy Nikolakopoulos; and four grandchildren, Nick and Demetri Petris, and Bill and Christina Nikolakopoulos. A funeral service was held at St. Catherine Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Nick Petris to St. Catherine Church, 110 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405. To express condolences and/or make donations Visit PalmBeachPost.com/obituaries PRAGASTIS, KANELLA SAN JOSE, Calif. ­ The San Jose Mercury News reported that Kanella Pragastis passed away peacefully on August 9. She was born in Levidi, Arcadia, Greece in 1921. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Phillipe Pragastis. She is survived by her children: Vasiliki (Haralambos) Zervogiannis, Helen (Vasilios) Kyriakopoulos, and Panagiotis (Lynn) Pragastis; eight grandchildren and many loving extended family and friends. A Trisagion service was held at St. Nicholas Church. Funeral and internment in Levidi, Greece. In lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name, to the St. Nicholas Building Fund. www.saintnicholas.org. RIGOPOULOS, THOMAS LODI, Calif. - The Lodi News reported that Thomas Rigopoulos, 84, passed away on August 5. Mr. Rigopoulos was born in Tripoli, Greece to Triandafilos and Hareklia (Doulapis) Rigopoulos on January 1, 1925. Tom's greatest enjoyment was singing and playing the Bouzouki with his family and friends. He was a Greek recording artist in New York City, where he met and married the love of his life, Barbara. He was very active in the Church where he was a chanter for church services. He was an active member of the Hellenic Society and the Silver Tigers Clubs. Tom performed the lost Greek art of comedy puppet shows, which he learned as a boy in his small Greek village to earn money for the family. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Barbara Rigopoulos; brothers: Spiros, Costas, Christos, Nico, Elias and Demetras (Jim); sisters, Panaiota, Paraskave and Elpiniki. Mr. Rigopoulos is survived by two daughters, Sophia (Jon) Gienger and Sonia (Rene Andre) Cimarrustti; sons, Christopher (Tammy) Rigopoulos and Peter (Kathy) Zimzores; five grandchildren; five greatgrandchildren; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Visitation, a Trisagion and a chapel service were held at Lodi Funeral Home with Rev. Fr. Luke Palumbis of St. Basil Church officiating. Remembrances may be made to St. Basil Church, 920 W. March Lane, Stockton, CA 95207. A virtual register book may be signed at www.lodifuneralhome.com where memories can be shared. Lodi Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. This is a service to the community. Announcements of deaths may be telephoned to the Classified Department of The National Herald at (718) 784-5255, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or e-mailed to: [email protected] TSAMPOS, GEORGIA CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. - The Northwest Herald reported that Georgia N. Tsampos, 48, passed away on August 8, at Centegra Hospital. She was born June 7, 1961, in Chios, Greece, to Nikolaos and Pipina (Kritikos) Mousouroulis. On June 16, 1985, she married Petros Tsampos in Chios, Greece. She loved fishing, needlepoint and spending time with her friends and family. She is survived by her children, Stacy, Nick and stepson Dino (Lynn); her parents; her sister, Irene (Peter) Tousis; her nieces and nephews, Vallen, Katie and Pamela; and many uncles and aunts in the United State and Greece. She was preceded in death by her husband. Visitation took place at Skaja Bachmann Funeral Home and a service was held at Sophia Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to her children.

CLASSIFIEDS

Legal Notices/Notice of Formation

Notice of Formation of RESCUEOPS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, a domestic LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 03/12/2009. Office location: Kings County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: The LLC, 2152 Ralph Avenue #530, Brooklyn, NY 11234. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

270098/16818

Astoria, New York 11105 (718) 728-8500 Not affiliated with any other funeral home. APOSTOLOPOULOS Apostle Family Gregory, Nicholas, Andrew Funeral Directors of RIVERDALE FUNERAL HOME Inc. 5044 Broadway New York, NY 10034 (212) 942-4000 Toll Free 1-888-GAPOSTLE LITRAS FUNERAL HOME ARLINGTON BENSON DOWD, INC FUNERAL HOME 83-15 Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11432 (718) 858-4434 · (800) 245-4872

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Notice of Formation of Navy Green-PACC LLC, Art. of Org. Filed Sec'y of State (SSNY) 7/10/09. Office location: Kings County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to c/o Pratt Area Comm. Council Inc., 201 Dekalb Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205. Purpose: any lawful activities.

270217/16868

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Notice of Formation of 158-01 ROCKAWAY LLC, a domestic LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 08/10/2009. Office location: Kings County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: 165 Williams Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11207. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

270224/16818

HELP WANTED

JOURNALISTS WANTED Nation's leading Greek American newspaper needs reporters and assistant editor for English weekly paper. Exceptional writing/reporting skills and bilingual fluency a must. Car a plus. Fax or e-mail clips and cover letter to 718-472-0510 or [email protected]

111609/01

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CONSTANTINIDES FUNERAL PARLOR Co. 405 91st Street Bay Ridge - Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 745-1010 Services in all localities Low cost shipping to Greece ANTONOPOULOS FUNERAL HOME, INC. Konstantinos Antonopoulos Funeral Director 38-08 Ditmars Blvd.,

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BOOK REVIEWS

BIBLIA: A BOOK REVIEW COLUMN

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McCabe's "Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land" Captures a Long-Lost World

By Alexandros K. Kyrou

Special to The National Herald this book, drawn from McCabe's first decade of travel, life, and observation in Greece, are all, in fact, strong, memorable images, with the power ­ beautiful, subtle, natural, and not overt or constructed ­ to elicit contemplation alongside aesthetic wonder. In the preface, which, like the rest of his book, appears in English and Greek, McCabe offers a concise, yet emotive, background and purpose for "Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land." Writing in Athens in 2004 about Greece as he first encountered the country in 1954, McCabe notes, "visitors were few, and they were treated with a kindness and warm hospitality that made deep and unforgettable impressions. The hospitality was all the more remarkable, in view of the profound poverty. There was a tenuous equilibrium between the resources of the land and the sea and the population: emigration and remittances from Greeks living abroad kept the balance. The landscape was unspoiled. Villages throughout the country were beautiful not only architecturally, but also for their unique and distinct traditions... It is an era and a way of life that has vanished, swept away by pounding waves of tourism and development, by huge high speed car ferries, by charter flights and package tours and island villas, by plastic boats replacing meticulously handcrafted wooden ones... I hope this tion, "History," are devoted largely to well-known ancient structures or sites in places such as Athens, Delphi, Epidavros, Knossos, Mycenae, Rhodes, and Sounion. McCabe's photographs of antiquities are made remarkably alive and relevant by his ability to capture ordinary Greeks in natural mode amidst such sites, highlighting a deep connection between a modest, contemporary people and their ancient, awe-inspiring patrimony. The book's second photographic section, "People," contains 34 images. As one may expect, the photographer's subject is the Greeks themselves. McCabe's camera respectfully and admiringly records the young and old, solitary figures and groups, men and women, boys and girls at rest, play, and work. The mainland is represented by people photographed in Attica and Central Greece, Epiros, and the Peloponnese. In addition to Hydra, the islands are represented by the people of several locales in the Cyclades and Dodecanese Islands. "Seas and Islands," the third section, consists of 33 photographs which explore the long and intimate relationship between the Greeks and the sea. It is interesting to note that the sea at the time of McCabe's photographic study was, as it had been since antiquity, a decidedly serious entity for the Greeks, a place of hard work and a medium for the movement of goods, people, and communications, not a resource for tourism and frivolous recreation. The fourth photographic section, containing 14 images, is entitled "Orthodoxy." McCabe presents Orthodox Christianity as a life-supporting faith and tradition. His photographs manage to convey Orthodoxy's theology as a living anthropology, as a way of life built on humility, love, and joy for the human spirit. Whether the subject is a staircase lined with young modestly-attired girls playfully looking down onto a whitewashed courtyard filled with young men at a baptismal festival, or an old monk dissecting a newspaper in a Meteora monastery, McCabe's photographs exhibit the communal qualities of Orthodoxy and the centrality of relationships, with people, society, and the world, at the heart of Orthodox belief. "Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land" is a beautiful and moving book. Robert McCabe's images portray Greece as a place of enchantment precisely because they remind us of those qualities that have attracted, and continue to attract, the interest and imagination of the world to life in Greece, or, more accurately, that urge us to reflect and act on that increasingly elusive allure understood as the Greek way of life. McCabe's photographs splendidly capture the Greeks' connectedness to their land and sea, as well as the immediacy of the natural environment. Through these images we see intergenerational bonds and the transmission of traditions and culture as part of a seemingly timeless way of life. McCabe demonstrates awe for the sacred and appreciation for the non-sacred. Above all, this book is unique for its success in bringing forward the centrality of human relationships in traditional Greek society. The humbling, poignant, and inspiriting images of friendship, family, and community that fill the pages of "Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land" will resonate with readers old enough to remember Greece as it once was, as well as readers young enough to be discovering Greece today. Dr. Kyrou is Associate Professor of History at Salem State, where he teaches courses on the Balkans, Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. The National Herald published a feature story on Mr. McCabe's book in its July 28, 2007 edition (page 1).

"Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land (1954-1965)," by Robert A. McCabe. New (Quantuck Lane Press (New York: 2006), distributed by W.W. Norton & Company. 204 pages. $85.00 (hardcover). At a time when visual imagery is prized over all other forms of culture and communication, "Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land (1954-1965)" may stir the reader and evoke a desire to probe beyond and behind Robert A. McCabe's compelling photographs. This magnificent coffee-table-size book of photography, first printed in Athens in 2004 by Patakis Publishers, celebrates Greece in its last decade be-

"Greece: Images of An Enchanted Land (1954-1965)" contains 111 primary captioned and five secondary black and white photographs. They are organized into four sections: History, People, Seas & Islands, and Orthodoxy, which presents the Greek Orthodox Church as a life-supporting faith and tradition. McCabe notes that it was his 1954 trip to Greece which revealed to him "the power of the camera."

fore what might arguably be understood as the onslaught of modernity. McCabe's sublime photographs present a nostalgic, yet insightful exploration of the Greek people, their physical world, and their daily activities from the period of the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s as seen through the lens of a then young American Philhellene. Robert McCabe began his relationship with Greece as an undergraduate at Princeton University. McCabe made his first trip to Greece in 1954 as a student of English literature at Princeton working on his thesis, a study of Lord Byron's Philhellenism. He was so enamored with the land and people he discovered, that he returned to Greece virtually every year thereafter over the following half century, including a trip in 1965 to marry his Athenian bride at Saint George's Chapel on Mount Lycabettos. McCabe's life-long interest in photography, stimulated by his father's work in the 1930s and 1940s as publisher of the picture newspaper, the New York Mirror, found its first serious and passionate subject in the form of Greece. McCabe notes that it was his 1954 visit to Greece that revealed to him "the power of the camera to record and report and communicate, and sometimes ­ often because of luck ­ go beyond that to create strong, memorable images" (p. 196). The photographs comprising

book will evoke memories of that era, and that those who were not here will understand better the spell under which we lived each day" (pp. 11-12). McCabe's words communicate his view that Greece's capture by modernity ­ whether expressed in wealth or technology ­ has dramatically transformed the physical and cultural reality of the Greeks. However, his book is not a lament over paradise lost. Instead, McCabe's photographs are a paean to the customs and traditions that sustained and expressed

Greece, a call to remember times now past, and a challenge to consider the connections and disruptions between past, present, and future. The meaningful scope and worth of McCabe's photographs are crystallized in a thoughtful introductory essay written by John M. Camp, the Director of the Agora excavations of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Professor Camp writes, "what Robert McCabe has seen and recorded for us in this collection of images is the infinite variety of life that Greece has always offered. This

is a wide array of subjects herein: landscapes and seascapes, grandiose ruins and modest village houses, agriculture and industry, people at work and people at play, the old and the new. Daily life is depicted in all its variety: agriculture (olive trees, onion and tomato crops), seafaring and boats, and small-scale industry (an old bus lovingly maintained beyond any reasonable life-span). No one story is being told, but a kaleidoscope of images of the people, land, and history of the participant, and the location of the view" (p. 16). Photography, despite its technical and material underpinning, is, either as documentary or artistic exercise, an ultimately subjective medium. It does not aim merely to impart an informational, two-dimensional record of a specific moment in time. It aspires to do much more. Indeed, it seeks to communicate one particular aspect of an overall truth or reality. Through framing and freezing the unique convergence of time, place, and person, photographs are capable of separating, for an instant, a given subject from the continuum of time and motion. Photographs stop the world

by stopping time, allowing us to contemplate and analyze the relationship between a particular moment and the overall passage of time. Of course, how that time is stopped, how the image is cast, reflects the perspective and interpretation, the subjectivity, of the photographer, as much as the objective quality of the person or place being photographed. In this sense, one will recognize in McCabe's images the photographer's deep and abiding love of Greece and its people. McCabe's approach to his diverse subjects communicates not simply a fascination with, but both a reverence for and a joyful appreciation of, the Greek people and their world. Consequently, although McCabe may at times work in an idealized medium, it is not a romanticized one. The 111 primary captioned, and 5 secondary, sumptuous black-andwhite photographs comprising "Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land" are organized into four sections based on broad thematic classifications rather than regional or chronological categories. The 30 photographs making-up the first sec-

Rowing to Democracy: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy

By Dwight Garner

The New York Times "Lords of the Sea," by John R. Hale (395 pages, $29.95, Viking: 2009) John R. Hale was a freshman at Yale in 1969 when an offhand comment from the legendary classics professor Donald Kagan changed the direction of his life. Mr. Hale was taking Mr. Kagan's Introduction to Greek History, and when the professor learned his student was rowing for the freshman crew ("Ha! A rower," Mr. Kagan exclaimed), he made a suggestion. "He told me that I should investigate Athenian history from the vantage point of a rower's bench," Mr. Hale writes in his new book. "It was an assignment, I found, for life." Mr. Hale went on to study at Cambridge, where he did his doctoral work on the evolution of the Viking longship. From there he embarked on a long archaeological career that has included many underwater searches for ancient warships. Decades later he's finally gotten around to writing his first book, "Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy," along the lines Mr. Kagan proposed. Mr. Hale's sea-level view of Athens during its Golden Age is, as Mr. Kagan had guessed, a novel and gripping way to approach a story that has been told many times before. What Mr. Kagan might not have guessed is that his student would become a far better than average writer. In "Lords of the Sea," Mr. Hale's simple but vigorous sentences prick up your ears from the first page. "At dawn, when the Aegean Sea lay smooth as a burnished shield, you could hear a trireme from Athens while it was still a long way off," he writes early in his book. "First came soft measured strokes like the pounding of a distant drum. Then two distinct sounds gradually emerged within each stroke: a deep percussive blow of wood striking water, followed by a dashing surge. Whumpff! Whroosh! These sounds were so much a part of their world that Greeks had names for them. They called the splash pitylos, the rush rhothios. Relentlessly the beat would echo across the water, bringing the ship closer." He writes: "This fearsome apmighty Athenian navy, composed largely of lightweight warships known as triremes, in which 170 oarsmen rowed in three tiers, led directly to Athens's Golden Age and its advanced form of democracy. For more than a century and a half, from 480 to 322 B.C., Athens's citystate of some 200,000 people had the strongest navy on earth. "Without the Athenian navy there would be no Parthenon, no tragedies of Sophocles or Euripides, no `Republic' of Plato or `Politics' of Aristotle," Mr. Hale writes. "Before the Persian Wars, Athens produced no great traditions of philosophy, architecture, drama, political science or historical writing. All these things came in a rush after the Athenians voted to build a fleet and transform themselves into a naval power in the early fifth century B.C." The hard work of building and maintaining a fleet pulled the society together. The protection the navy afforded Athens allowed it to prosper, to fend off the enemies that would have overrun it and changed its tolerant and inquisitive character. Among those who commanded fleets or squadrons of triremes were the playwright Sophocles and the historian Thucydides. "Lords of the Sea" is, largely, a book about war. It describes a running series of water and land battles between Athens and its shifting enemies, including Persian and Spartan armies and navies. Mr. Hale points out that the use of triremes ushered in "a new age of warfare." For the first time "battles were being fought where the majority of combatants never fought hand to hand with the enemy -- indeed, never even saw the enemy." Triremes won battles by ramming opposing ships, and cunning was even more important as brute force. The naval success that built Athens also, in the end, helped destroy it. When a people has a large and difficult-to-maintain navy, it is tempted to put it to use. The restless Athenians waged campaigns against their allies and often acted aggressively and recklessly, provoking dangerous enemies into war. Folly and hubris are words Mr. Hale employs more than once. Plato was among the critics of Athens's insatiable navy; so was Aristotle, who thought "trireme democracy" was an evil to itself and others. Athens's Golden Age ended in 322 B.C. when its navy was decisively and humiliatingly defeated by the Macedonians. The era ended, Mr. Hale writes, "as abruptly as if someone had put out a light." "Lords of the Sea" has some small problems. Mr. Hale may overstate the importance of Athens's navy to the development of its democracy. Toward the end of the book some of the many naval battles he describes begin to overlap in your mind. And Mr. Hale largely omits some details that might have further humanized his story. As these massive armadas of triremes plied the seas, how were the men fed? How did they relieve themselves? What kind of support crews were necessary? There is little about the domestic life that awaited these men at home. But Mr. Hale's book is good enough that one hopes to hear more from him. He's an intellectually serious historian who knows how to tell war stories. On Amazon.com one commenter noted that "Lords of the Sea" is an especially stirring audio book. I have no trouble believing that. The New York Times posted the above on August 7.

parition, black with pitch, packed with men and bristling with oars, was an emblem of liberty and democracy but also of imperial ambition. It was a warship of Athens, one vessel in a navy of hundreds that served the will of the Athenian people." Mr. Hale's thesis in "Lords of the Sea" is that the construction of the

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EDITORIALS LETTERS The National Herald

A weekly publication of the NATIONAL HERALD, INC. ( ), reporting the news and addressing the issues of paramount interest to the Greek American community of the United States of America.

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Tolerance Definitely Needs To Be Encouraged In Turkey

To the Editor: I'd like to commend The National Herald for extensively covering the historic meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as other religious minority leaders in last week's edition. Turkey really seems be taking initiatives to move in the right direction in terms of improving relations with non-Muslim minorities in a country known for its hostility toward Christians. And your editorial was right on the mark when it said that such steps toward tolerance should be applauded and encouraged. I hope that other less tolerant nations around the world can use this meeting as an example of a productive, peaceful attempt at positive change. Mr. Erdogan appears to be sincere about his efforts to go beyond simply talking about solutions, and to actually make moves that will, in the end, contribute to more peaceful relations. It is indeed one thing for a political leader to make promises in the midst of an election, and another to actually go through with those promises. I would also like to commend our Patriarch for being so supportive about fostering better relations between his government and Turkey's minority communities, and for firmly supporting and providing hope for the Greek community which, unfortunately, has been virtually wiped out by oppressive policies over the past few decades. As the Herald has already pointed out, this is a big step not only for Turkey's ethnic Greek community, but also for all minorities living there. Calliope Demitrakis Scarsdale, New York

Publisher-Editor Antonis H. Diamataris

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Deeply saddened

As news of Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy's death reverberated across the country, the vibrations also juddered through the Greek American community. Senator Kennedy was not simply the brother of John and Bobby Kennedy. As President Obama himself took the time to tell us, "For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic wellbeing of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives." Ted Kennedy was one of the most influential senators in history, and he strongly supported Hellenic issues throughout his 47 years of public service. His personal relations with Greek Americans were forged in Boston and nurtured during his trips to Crete with Costas Maliotis as a young man, and later with George P. Livanos and others. He always stood behind Greek Americans in supporting Greece and Cyprus, earning the high respect of Greek American Senators with whom he served: Paul Sarbanes, Olympia Snowe and the late Paul Tsongas. Throughout the land, Americans became profoundly concerned when we learned Senator Kennedy was battling brain cancer, and we are all deeply saddened by his death. The Greek American community extends its condolences to the Kennedy family, and joins the rest of the country in mourning the loss of this great man.

CHRYSANTHI LIRISTIS / SPECIAL TO THE NATIONAL HERALD

No Person Left Behind: The Search for Meaning in Education

"The beginning of every government starts with the education of our youth," Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher and mathematician, advises us. The official end of summer is nearing and with it comes the beginning of the new school year. Back to school sales are a familiar sight and last minute family outings try to hold on to time quickly passing by. Whether anyone likes it or not, it's time to get back to the books, parent-teacher conferences, academic standards, career planning, extracurricular activities, and, hopefully, the joy of learning! Yet with all of the attention being paid to the health care reform, or as some would prefer to call it, the "health insurance," debate, there does not appear to be much concern about reforming another massive human service system that also isn't working as well as it should. I'm talking about education reform. And one would think, along the lines suggested by our Greek ancestor, Pythagoras, that a focus on improving the quality of education in America, along with an investment in "educating" the public about the fundamental importance of education in creating and sustaining a democratic society, would be no-brainers. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that we have not yet realized--and perhaps do not fully understand--the true meaning and implications of Pythagoras's profound words. (Pythagoras, by the way, also applied the concept of to mathematics to bring connection, and meaning, between numbers). Last year I contributed an essay to a book with the powerful and provocative title, Responsibility 911: With Great Liberty Comes Great Responsibility. Importantly, reduce health care the 56 authors in this costs and counteract anthology make a the illnesses, diseases, strong and diversified and accidents that recase for the role that require primary care insponsibility plays in a tervention. This said, free society. The conin a "managed care" tributors, moreover, and "disease managerepresent the gamut of ment" culture, health political perspectives care in America still is and come from the dibased more on a "take verse worlds of busicare of me," ness, government, and sickness/entitlement nonprofits, including by Dr. ALEX model than it is one religion and education. PATTAKOS based on the notion of Besides my chapter, for personal responsibility example, this book inSpecial to The National Herald for health and wellcludes contributions ness. from the likes of In the education arena, a "teach George W. Bush, Jack Canfield, Howard Gardner, George McGov- me," ignorance/entitlement model ern, Barack Obama, John McCain, has less chance of observable or susPope John Paul II, Ross Perot, Tom tainable success without a measurPeters, Christopher Reeve, Anita able dose of responsibility by those Roddick, Norman Schwartzkopf, seeking access to and services from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Desmond the "system." In other words, while Tutu, and Oprah Winfrey. You get you, as a patient, don't necessarily the picture! The issue of personal have to be "engaged" with health (and collective) responsibility is ex- care service providers in order to amined from multiple, diverse achieve the benefits that they offer, you - as a student (or parent) - do points of view. Let me suggest now that the need to be engaged with education ideals of education reform are close- service providers, especially teachly tied to the responsibility issue. ers, in order to achieve the benefits Moreover, unlike the debate sur- that they offer. The education rounding health care, which is treat- process, in the final analysis, is a ed, more often than not, strictly as a two-way street. Minus some kind of matter of "entitlement," the aims of brain implant like those depicted in education can never be achieved science fiction, which is probably without personal responsibility on something that we would not want the parts of students/learners, par- to see become reality, the true beneents, teachers, and other involved fits of education derive as the "restakeholders, in addition to the col- turn on investment" that is made in lective responsibility of families, lo- yourself and in your future. And this cal/state jurisdictions, and other kind of "ROI" can only occur when levels of community and society. To you become fully engaged and be sure, there are also elements of demonstrate that you are responsipersonal responsibility at work in ble for the investment. I've had the good fortune of the health care arena, such as those that require "preventive" action to sharing my meaning-centered message with public school systems and other educational entities and speaking at conferences where the pursuit of excellence in education was the primary theme. For example, I've keynoted the National Quality Education Conference in the USA, as well as addressed some 10,000 teachers in Calgary, Canada. Most recently, I had the opportunity to be the convocation keynote speaker and conduct in-service training for teachers and administrators representing an independent school district in Texas. Importantly, the topic of my engagement with the local school district was "Meaningful Improvement: Engaging Minds, Achieving Results." In other words, education "reform," to be truly effective and sustainable, needs to be both meaningful and engaging. And the power of full engagement, in all of life's pursuits, stems from the search for meaning, which is the primary, intrinsic motivation of human beings. This basic tenet, moreover, applies to everyone involved in the educational process--students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the community-at-large. No person can be left behind if we really expect to see meaningful improvement in our education "system," broadly-defined, become a reality. Dr. Pattakos is the author of Prisoners of Our Thoughts (visit the web at www.prisonersofourthoughts.com). His column is published weekly in The National Herald. He is currently working on a new book about how to live a meaningful life inspired by Greek culture (visit the web at www.theopaway.com). Readers are free to contact him by e-mail at [email protected]

The time has come, all right

"The time has come for the resignation of those who had the responsibility of protecting forests and failed," Greece's Green Party said in a statement this week, after massive fires which razed northern Athens and its outlying areas for almost five days were finally extinguished on Wednesday. Meanwhile, opposition-leaning newspapers and television networks (which are most of the newspapers and TV stations in Greece) ranted and raved, as they typically do, that the wildfires, and the destructive effects of those fires, were all the Government's fault. "Government Burns in Ashes," read one headline in Eleftherotypia. How inane. As for the opposition, PASOK Spokesman George Papaconstantinou said, "Within the DNA of New Democracy (the ruling party) lie incompetence, corruption and insensitivity. They did not even apologize; no one had the decency to assume the responsibilities, and they have the audacity to attack PASOK." Apologize for What? And talk about the pot calling the kettle black ­ PASOK is the party constantly attacking New Democracy, not the other way around. Such ignoble propaganda dishonors the death of a firefighting pilot who died when his plane crashed Thursday while battling a blaze on the island of Kefalonia. But politics aside, a picture is worth a thousand words, and any objective observer could see how extensive and furious the fires were; how voraciously they devoured large areas of Athens' northernmost reaches. All one needs to do is look at the photos we are publishing in this week's edition, and it's clear that Greek firefighting authorities and volunteers did everything they could to stave off the unforgiving flames. Does Greece have limited resources to handle such massive destruction from natural (or man-sparked) disasters? Obviously. That's why Greece's European Union and NATO allies pitched in with water-dropping aircraft and firefighting personnel. But to say that the Greek Government under Prime Minister Karamanlis is at fault for failing to put the fires out sooner is simply absurd; moreover, it really violates the rules of fair and objective assessment in journalism. Were mistakes made? Certainly. Human beings make mistakes. Could some of those mistakes have been avoided? Perhaps. But were any mistakes so integral, as to contribute to the rapid spreading of the all-consuming blaze? Hardly. To put things in perspective, all one needs to do is look right here in America, the most affluent and most organized country on Earth, to see that Greek authorities actually deserve to be commended for doing as well as they did against an almost unstoppable force. In California, where more than 119,400 acres have been scorched since the beginning of August, firefighters are only now starting to get those fires under control. It has taken American firefighting authorities three weeks or more to put those fires out. In contrast, it took Greek firefighters five days to contain fires which torched some 52,000 acres of land, roughly 80 square miles, and area three times the size of Manhattan. It can be argued to some extent that, in Greece, the fires extinguished also themselves after using up their available fuel. But it's absolutely ludicrous to argue that the Greek Government and Fire Brigade didn't do their part. Mr. Karamanlis inherited an enormous set of problems in 2004, after 11 consecutive years of socialist rule, not the least of which are labor union leaders loyal to PASOK and fat union contracts PASOK governance granted them. Wittingly or unwittingly, PASOK let the genie out of the bottle, and those people are now insatiable. Let the country burn ­ quite literally, even ­ let everything go up in smoke, "as long as PASOK gets back in power, and we keep getting our money" from the Government. The same unethical people are the ones howling against a government which has actually been trying to act responsibly, in the face of relentless, knee-jerk opposition (much like the rabid way President Obama's opponents are trying to block his healthcare reform efforts). When Greek Government Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said Greece's many pine trees made it difficult to put out the fires, one newspaper jumped at the chance to twist his words and mock him, pretending that Mr. Antonaros was blaming the trees for the fires. In the end, all that matters to PASOK and its supporters is that PASOK is back in charge, so they spew their poison and unsettle the public, all in a deliberate effort to prevent Mr. Karamanlis and New Democracy from governing effectively. But instead of attacking the Government, which only rubs salt in the wounds of those who lost their homes, properties and livelihoods, they should be concerned about people like Fani Filosidi, who sifted through the burned wreckage of her home in Rodopoli, 12 miles north of Athens, as her family loaded what was left into a small van: a stack of plates, some living room furniture and a table lamp. "The destruction is unbelievable," she told AP. "I could hardly recognize my own home. I don't know what to say." The critics should think about people like Panos Bekas, who drove a water tanker to fire-stricken areas at the height of the wildfires, unaware that his own home was being engulfed. He rummaged through the remnants of his gutted house, not certain what to do. "I have no other place to go," he said. "This is all I had. Now my dreams and the dreams of my family are gone." The self-styled experts should think about helping the Government help people like Fani and Panos. They should help the Government find the arsonists who started at least some of the fires. And they should get behind the Government's efforts to reforest charred land and prevent unprincipled land developers from taking over what was once pristine natural habitat untouched and unspoiled by corrupt human activity. If those areas aren't reforested, a process which will take decades, it will have severe repercussions on the environment and quality of human life. The time has come, all right. The time has come for the critics to stop opposing the Government just for the sake of being oppositional. The time has come to cooperate for the sake of the whole country and its people.

COMMENTARY

Factions, Incompetence and the Nightmare of Greek Wildfires

By Christopher Tripoulas

Special to The National Herald As the news of the 80 some-odd wildfires raging throughout Attica and other parts of Greece this past weekend enrages Hellenes living in Greece and abroad, the one question that comes to mind time and time again is "why?" How could people bring themselves to cause such destruction to the land, personal and state property, and worst of all human life? Sure enough, judging from the disastrous aftermath of the 2007 wildfires which ravaged western Greece and killed dozens, we have to consider ourselves lucky if we're not mourning any deaths once these blazes die out ­ sometime this week. Make no mistake about it, 80 forest fires appearing one after the other during gale-force winds is no accident. Despite the tragedy that befell the country just two short years ago, some mysterious forces are still engaging in arson for their own personal gain. Forest fires were always a nightmare for Greece, but after 2007, the cost in human life justifies equating arson to mass murder. On Wednesday August 19, newspapers in Greece ran a story about comments made by Nikolaos Hanias, head of the Zakynthos fire brigade, alleging an organized plot to burn the island. In response to the public criticism he leveled against his superiors over their failure to send standby firefighting aircraft to Zakynthos, he was subject to a disciplinary hearing. Just a few days later, more than 15 fires broke out on the island. In Attica alone, more than 50,000 acres of land were burned by this past Monday, with fires still raging. In each town, many homes also fell prey to the merciless flames. At yet another summer's end, anger and sadness are the primary emotions that well deep within the hearts of all those who love Greece. The desire to lay blame is almost insurmountable. The oft-repeated demand for even one arsonist to be caught and handed over to be punished will undoubtedly remain merely a wish. And so anger must find some other outlet. Should we blame the state for not having proper land policies ­ e.g., forest registry, land registry, draconian laws on the use of various landsites ­ or for the lack of proper infrastructure in forests to prevent the spread of wildfires and shortcomings in firefighting means, such as old airplanes, too many part-time firefighters, 3,300 unfilled permanent positions and shortages in other necessary equipment? Mr. Hanias did, but to no avail. Should we look for potential arsonists in farmers, ranchers, landowners or prospective landowners wanting to develop forests into hotels, mini malls, wind and solar parks, etc.? The interesting thing about wildfire coverage is that, although television stations spend seemingly endless hours showing their audience the progress of the horrific blazes, there never seems to be a follow-up on what happened to the charred land. Did someone build upon it? Who issued the license? Who failed to follow through and ensure that laws protecting sites being reforested are properly enforced? Perhaps if we look at this information a little more analytically, we would have a better idea of who burned the outskirts of Athens and took away the last bit of precious green in Attica. Throughout this weekend's dramatic ordeal, perhaps the best quote was, "Greece may never have had an Emperor Nero, but it has many little Neros running around today," fiddling while the country burns. It's really hard to believe that, several thousand years ago, this same province several was home to philosophers like Plato or Proclus, one of the last great Classical philosophers. Their writings seem to exalt what is truly missing in modern Greece: unity. In his commentary on Plato's "Timaeus," Proclus informs us of the original perspective of feasts, which emulate "the coexistence taught by God (the transcendental union) of every variety. Through our participation in the feast, we accept a life that is common, where we become of one mind..." Even today, those attending a traditional Greek feast will witness a bizarre concelebration of ranchers and farmers, during which each faction participates with its own offerings ­ without which the feast is inconceivable (e.g., wine but no meat, or vice-versa). The fact that, in Ancient Greece, such important social mechanisms were in place to bring together ageold rivals ­ both ranchers and farmers are fighting for control of the same land, which they need for dramatically different uses ­ is a tribute to the greatness of our ancient culture, and a testimony to the current inadequacies of the Hellenic Republic's so-called democratic polity. Mr. Tripoulas is adjunct professor of Speech & Interpersonal Communication at St. John's University, and specializes in GreekEnglish translation.

Patriarch Is Coming in October

In last week's editorial, we erroneously stated that His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is coming to the United States for an important environmental conference in mid-September, and that he would "likely meet" with representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. According to a press release posted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on June 26, the Patriarch will be arriving in Memphis this coming October 18 for a three-stage visit, which will include the 8th Symposium on Religion, Science & the Environment, "The Great Mississippi River: Restoring Balance," as well as visits to New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The Patriarch is expected to be in New York on October 25, where he will celebrate two Patriarchal Divine Liturgies and hold meetings with clergy, members of the Archdiocesan Council, the Archons and ecumenical leaders, and receive an honorary doctorate from Fordham University. He is also scheduled for a short visit to Atlanta on October 29, and will be in Washington on November 2-5.

THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

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LETTER FROM ATHENS

Greece is Not Just a Beach, Much is Still Undiscovered

Some years back, the Greek National Tourist Organization (EOT) conducted two surveys. It asked incoming tourists what they intended to do in Greece, and then asked outgoing tourists what they actually did. The inflow claimed they would visit monuments, climb mountains and get to know Greek villages. The outflow admitted that they went to the beach and stayed there. It's their loss. I have just spent half of August on Chios and Syros, two islands independent of mass foreign tourism trade. There's a whole different and enjoyable world that you will miss if you stay on the Beach soaking up the rays. Take time out from the beach to explore a Greece of thriving towns with a unique cultural and social life. You will find Syros Town to be a busy warren of small streets, high street boutiques, and magnificent public buildings with a healthy non-tourist economy. People are as friendly, hospitable, polite and helpful today as our parents and grandparents said that Greece once was. You need more than three days to explore Syros Town with its beautiful large churches, Greece's oldest and still functioning theater, the Apollon, and a bevy of museums and art galleries. In Chios, you can explore a medieval walled city within its capital, Chora, another half dozen walled medieval villages or the Renaissance mansions of Kambos. The island hosts music almost daily, and theater events by famous stars covering the gamut from Euripides to an extreme form of cacophony posing as "music" which attracts overflow crowds of teenagers. The events are SRO (standing room only, as we found out to our chagrin and to the scalpers' delight). At Megaron in Syros, you can enjoy a night of traditional, classical and experimental rebetika (basically a Greek version of blues and jazz) or attend quality shows at the Apollon. Do you like ballet? I recommend you spend a few hours at a waterfront café in the main ports of Chios or Syros, or any of another several dozen islands, watching Greek Baryshnikov, eat your shipmasters pirouette heart out. 200 meter-length Thousands of years coastal liners on their of history are alive and tiptoes. Nothing in the well outside the norBolshoi can surpass mal tourist haunts. Cythe performance of a cladic architecture, a "Highspeed" charging work of art with asymup to the breakwater metric whitewashed at 35 knots, deceleratbuildings, has ing to minimize waves changed little over six just before sliding into millennia and still dots the harbor, spinning in these islands. How its own length to bring by AMB. PATRICK N. many of us know that the stern to the pier THEROS knights of the 4th Cruand dropping the ramp sade established a ­ all without the aid of Special to thriving Latin Catholic The National Herald tugs. community in Syros, Notions of Greek inefficiency disappear as you watch which produced Vamvakaris, the the ship disgorge 50 cars, two father of modern rebetiko, and the dozen 16-wheelers and 300 pas- song "Fragosyriani" (a Catholic girl sengers, and load the same number from Syros), one of the classics of in a total of 20 minutes. Half an that genre. In the Narthex of the Church of hour after appearing outside the port, the Highspeed has slipped its the Dormition in Syros, you can hawsers, and sprinted past the kiss an original icon by El Greco breakwater like a greyhound. (early Cretan School), found accidentally in the rubble of the Church after Allied bombers destroyed it in 1943. Or, read the original correspondence between the Founder of Katharevousa and Thomas Jefferson at the Koraes Library in Chios, and visit the 15th Century home of Christopher Columbus in the walled town of Pirgi. And then there's the food. A century of Greek American diners and mass tourism have reduced the perception of Greek cuisine to souvlaki, gyros, moussaka and Greek salad. When you get beyond Athens, ask for the local specialties. In Chios, visit Hoja Taverna, for a world-class menu which includes sauces and snails to make a Frenchman jealous, and a hostess who flawlessly recited 40 dinner suggestions course by course; the best maître d' in New York fades at 8-10 items. Or hit the waterfront at either island and ask for garidopita, a shrimp and onion frittata (also available in mussels, small fish, and calamarakia). In the Peloponnese, attend a festival in Mistra to eat roast pork with crackling that gives a new meaning to "finger-lickinggood." Rave, if you want, about the haute cuisines of France and Italy. Our table manners may not be as elegant, but provincial Greece can match them taste-for-taste and variety for variety. If you still prefer the beach, I recommend Mykonos, Greece's gem of beach tourism. It offers you a chance to watch the rich and famous partying all night long, and to eat fabulous high-priced food. Truth in journalism: I don't like the beach and stopped going when my kids got old enough to go by themselves. Two weeks ago, my wife got me into knee-high water at Karfa in Chios. The Hon. Ambassador Theros served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 36 years, mostly in the Middle East, and was American Ambassador to Qatar from 1995 to 1998. He also directed the State Department's Counter-Terrorism Office, and holds numerous U.S. Government decorations.

When Will They Ever Learn? Greece Burns Again

all the scores of mil"The meeting of the lions of dollars that has Greek National Disaster been given to monasPlanning Committee teries and monks, you will come to order. As think a couple of you know, wildfires prayers for rain wouldhave again consumed n't have been too much what's left of the forests to ask for. What matand green areas around ters is that Greece has Athens that didn't burn no plan to deal with two years ago and in disasters and no clue previous years. We need how to handle them an explanation as to when they happen, no why we didn't have a by ANDY matter what the govplan in place to prevent DABILIS ernment says. When it, stop it when it got the first fire broke out, started, or go after arSpecial to the government should The National Herald sonists or developers have sent every firewho burn forests then fighter in the country, every waterbuild in the open spaces. Any ideas?" (Long pause while men around a dropping plane and helicopter it had table rub their faces in anguish. One and stopped it in its tracks so it raises his hand and yells Eureka!) "I wouldn't spread. That it did not got it. We can say it was an Act of shows no one in power gives a damn what happens, unless it happens to God!" "No, we used that one two years them. The images shown around the ago and some smartass wrote that he wondered why God spent his sum- world were pathetic: few firefightmers only in Greece and didn't stop ers in sight, people on their own fighting walls of fire 100 feet high the fires instead of starting them." with garden hoses and branches. (Another long pause) "I got it! We can say it was an acci- Greece is spending $3.1 billion on 40 US F-16 fighter jets to play dog dent!" "That could work, except there fight games in the sky with Turkey, although if war came Greece wouldwere 83 fires." "We could say that we acted with n't last 10 minutes, but dispatched only 17 fire-fighting planes and all due speed!" blamed the heavy winds for spreading the fire beyond control. No matter how it started ­ and there's no way to stop them ­ how to combat the plague of fires every year in Greece isn't that hard: you have a plan to marshal all your forces to attack the first fire and every other one, and have a welltrained professional firefighting force instead of relying on civilian volunteers with sticks and hoses. Greece is surrounded by the sea and water is minutes away, which perhaps the EU should have thought of when it decided to send planes three days after the fires started. "We are making every possible effort to limit the boundaries of the fire, said Fire Service spokesman Yiannis Kappakis, spinning why that "Not a bad idea, except that we didn't happen the moment the fires didn't do anything for a couple of days broke out. Critics said the governwhile the flames ate every town north ment had not reformed its forestof Athens and stopped only on Mt. protection plans even after huge Pendeli because that burned down in fires swept through southern Greece two years ago, killing 76 people. "A 2007." (Shorter pause) "We can say it was compete overhaul is required in the CIA agents who set the fires to discred- way we deal with forest fires ... There is no sign the (government) is it the government!" "That's not going to work. We moving in the right direction," Dimfloated that idea before and the itris Karavellas, director of the envilaughter was so heavy it almost ronmental group WWF in Greece, brought rain. Which, come to think of told the Associated Press. He said state planners made insufficient use it, we could have used at the time." "We can say since nobody died it of volunteer groups and failed to crack down on rogue developers wasn't really a disaster!" (The chairman rubs his chin) "Ah, building homes illegally in burnt more than 64,000 acres burned, so forest areas. Government spokesman Evangethat kind of counts as a disaster." "We can play `We Didn't Start The los Antonaros insisted the firefightFire,'" all the time on the radio. (Si- ing effort was "Well coordinated," a stretch even for professional liars. lence) "Aha! I got it! We can blame it on "From the first moment, (we had) the European Union for not sending the presence of personnel on a large scale," he declared, not explaining help!" "NOW, that's a good idea because they were invisible and people in the they didn't send much help for about affected areas said they had seen no three days. Good one, all in favour of firefighters or fire trucks, or help in blaming the European Union say sight. Marathon Mayor Spyros Za`Nai.'" (Everyone yells Nai!") "Okay, garis said he had been "begging the the nai's have it. I move we adjourn government to send over planes and for lunch at one of the new restau- helicopters," to no avail. "There are rants along the sea that was unlaw- only two fire engines here; three fully built on land burned by arsonists houses are already on fire and we and developed by our friends, and are just watching helplessly," he told meet again next year to explain why Greek TV, saying the government the fires of 2010 aren't our fault ei- had no plan to fight the fire. He didther." (Everyone nods their head in n't know that was their plan. agreement.) "Good, see you next year. If there's anything left to burn we Mr. Dabilis was the New England editor for United Press Internaneed to find someone to blame it on." At this point, it doesn't matter tional in Boston, and a staff writer how the fires that destroyed what and assistant metropolitan editor little green is left in Greece started, at the Boston Globe for 17 years an arsonist who will go uncaught, a before relocating to Greece. His developer who will build homes and column is published weekly in the resorts on the new torched land, National Herald. Readers interestwhether it was an accident or God ed in contacting him can send ewill blamed again, although given mails to [email protected]

Windmills in Varvasion, Chios. The island is known for its strong merchant shipping community, agriculture and medieval villages.

Similar Circumstances May Now Breed Compassion

There is something noticeably different going on in Greece this year. Not only are Greeks talking less and less about politics on the whole, but they are also far less inclined to blame America for their woes. In fact, they are even beginning to feel a sort of kinship with their fellow citizens of the world on the West shores of the Atlantic, perceiving Americans to be, much like themselves, decent folk immersed in the struggles of life. In my travels to Athens, Chios, Rhodes, Karpathos, and Nisyros this summer, the common theme in my conversations with the locals has been that all politicians are by and large the same, regardless of party. Many Greeks view Prime Minister Karamanlis and President Obama, and the leaders of their respective opposition parties, as little more than mouthpieces for selfserving tycoons and cartels who hoodwink the helpless Greek and American masses in order to achieve their own dubious and clandestine ends. In great part, this significant change in perspective stems from Greeks' recent experiences with the governance of the country's two major political parties: New Democracy and PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement). It was not so long ago that those parties' faithful were embroiled in partisan fanaticism, convinced that their particular ideology was clearly superior, and that the parties' differences were as clear as night and day. Americans, too, felt the same way about their political leaders, with Republican red and Democratleadership, and little ic blue having been the hope that the maindominant distinctions stream opposition marking the voting would do any better. patterns of the 2000 C o n s e q u e n t l y, and 2004 presidential Greeks and Americans elections. alike are becoming inSomething hapcreasingly indepenpened in both nations, dent politically; less however, that has crelikely to link their own ated cultures less conproposals for a better cerned with party affilfuture to a particular iation and, in turn, diparty. Just as Ameriminished political pasby CONSTANTINOS E. cans have become sion. In each country, SCAROS more purple, an amalthe opposition party gam of red and blue, rose to power, only to Special to Greeks are becoming The National Herald demonstrate its inabilmore teal: an alternaity to make good on its promises to solve the problems it tive to New Democracy blue and claimed were caused by the ruling PASOK green. Yet although the party that it ousted. Some of the people in both nations now pin problems, particularly those rooted their hopes on the emergence of a in the economy, are the same. Most new and better party, a third major notably, Greeks and Americans party that would be free of the coralike are complaining that their ruption and bureaucracy prevalent elected officials are not doing any- in the ruling class, no such party thing to help them obtain decent seems likely to emerge in either jobs and overall financial security. country anytime soon. Greeks, in Other issues, most evidently for- particular, are puzzled by this paraeign policy ones, are very different. dox: why do they continue to vote Whereas the typical Greek might be in droves for the two major parties, concerned with what Turkey is do- even though they complain about ing on a day-to-day basis, the aver- the outcome? Why do they engage age (non-Greek) American knows in the same behavior time and very little about either of those again and expect a different result? Although it does not seem as if countries, except that they are both located somewhere far, far away, the political culture will change and are nice places to visit in the very much in either country in the summertime. Likewise, an Ameri- foreseeable future, there is a bright can might worry that Iran might be spot to all of this. Greeks seem to close to developing a nuclear be less and less obsessed with weapon, whereas a Greek might blaming America for all of their say: "that has nothing to do with woes. Granted, they are convinced me." But, in each case, the citizen that no American president ­ not has little faith in the incumbent even Obama, who is far more popular among Greeks than any president in recent memory ­ will ever take Greece's side over Turkey's. But the conviction that America and Israel have conspired to rule the world at the Greeks' expense no longer courses through their veins with the same ferocity that it once did. Moreover, many Greeks appear to resent the American people less and less. They no longer believe that Americans are all rich and spoiled, without a care in the world. When they hear that Americans have problems finding jobs, paying their mortgage, or obtaining quality health care, they believe it. And, more importantly, they feel as if we are all in the same boat. At the very least, the common concerns that Greeks and Americans face in their everyday lives might cause them to understand and appreciate one another better. There is no reason why Greece and the United States should not be the best of friends. Perhaps a little commiseration will foster stronger bonds. At best, Greeks, Americans, and citizens of democratic nations the world over will begin to realize that their elected officials work for them ­ not the other way around ­ and will begin to hold them more accountable for what they do. Constantinos E. Scaros is a published author and expert in American presidential history, with a background in Ancient Greek history. He teaches history, political science, and law at New York University, and is the Dean of Criminal Justice at Katharine Gibbs College.

Indifference Is the Greek American Community's Main Problem

Some Greek American news organizations have recently taken up a critical review of the so-called "Greek American Lobby" and the players that are involved, including organizations like ours ­ the American Hellenic Institute. The articles make some valid points, but they fail to mention perhaps the most pressing problem facing these Greek American organizations, and perhaps the greatest threat to Hellenism itself: indifference. It's not that Greek Americans simply don't care if Greece or Cyprus exist. It's that, for one reason or another, these foreign policy issues do not seem to be a priority for the average Greek American. Some common themes follow. Is there Disunity on Foreign Policy? Some say there is a lack of organization, or that the Greek American community lacks a unified message. In fact, AHI releases, on an annual basis, the Greek American Policy Statements, which are endorsed by the leading Greek American membership organizations, including the largest, AHEPA. These policy statements clearly set forth our collective position relating to foreign policy issues affecting all Hellenes ­ whether they are the Greek minority in Albania and Turkey, or a Thracian living on the border with Bulgaria. The fact that leading Greek American organizations agree on foreign policy is perhaps an unprecedented demonstration of unity in the Greek American community. Moreover, it clearly demonstrates that disunity is not our biggest obstacle when it comes to foreign policy. Are we out of touch with Athens and/or Nicosia? Another theme is an ostensible lack of communication or perhaps disharmony with our ancestral homelands ­ Greece or Cyprus. Generally speaking, it's important to narrow any gap between Greece/Cyprus and America, and the best way to avoid this problem is to visit the lands of our forebears. AHI makes a formal trip annually to meet with different government officials in Greece and Cyprus, whereby we have the opportunity to have very useful discussions on issues of mutual concern and interest. We also make and Cyprus vis-à-vis sure to meet regularly United States foreign with officials at both policy: the Embassies of 1. Cyprus: Turkey Greece and Cyprus in still has about 43,000 Washington, and we troops in occupied have developed some Cyprus, and although particularly good relathe Turks seek entry tionships with the into the European Greek military. This Union, they have given past March, we attendno indication whatsoed the unrolling of 30 ever that they intend F-16 fighter planes to demilitarize. As rewhich the Greek Govby ALECO cently as June 17 of ernment purchased HARALAMBIDES this year, Turkey sent from Lockheed Martin military ships to in Fort Worth. So, Special to thwart U.S.-based NoThe National Herald disharmony with ble Energy from perAthens and Nicosia is forming oil and gas explorations not really the culprit. Who is the culprit? The culprit, which Noble had contracted to peragain, is indifference. I recently form with the government of asked a prominent Greek American Cyprus. 2. Turkey: The Obama Adminisfriend about the indifference I perceived, and he said, "Greece and tration seems intent on creating a Cyprus just aren't being threatened "special relationship" with Turkey, right now; things are pretty good which is why one of the President's over there." My friend may have first official visits was to Turkey. described the crux of the problem; I While he was there, it was laudable that the President made reference only wish his statement was true. Here are a few examples of in- to the reopening of the Halki Theoternational issues affecting Greece logical Seminary, and Erdogan's August 15 visit to the island of Prinkipo with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gives us reason for hope. But Turkey continues to refuse to remove its illegal troops and settlers from Cyprus and it refuses to provide full religious freedom for the Patriarchate. 3. International Law in the Aegean Sea: The Turkish military routinely violates international law with its periodic violations of Greek national airspace in the Aegean. So, what would happen to someone in Turkey if they were to point out the hypocrisy regarding the Kurdish minority in Turkey or Turkey's invasion and occupation in Cyprus; or Erdogan's recent public statement that the Chinese killing of 150 Uighurs (ethnic Turkic people) in China's Western Xinjiang province was "genocide?" In 2005, Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel-winning ethnic Turkish author, was indicted under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for mentioning that one million Armenians were killed in Turkey. For similar reasons, Hrant Dink, the late Armenian journalist, was prosecuted by the Turkish Government and later killed by extremists in Turkey. As Americans of Greek descent, we can not sit back and accept the current trajectory of American foreign policy on Turkey, which is not in the best interests of the United States. We must make every effort to eliminate the current indifference. The good news is that it's easier than ever to take action. In mere seconds, we can search objective news sources on the Internet; fire off e-mails capable of reaching people all over the world; and reach all of our friends and acquaintances simultaneously on Twitter or Facebook. One of my personal favorites is Wikipedia. If you find an inaccuracy on any subject, you can log on and correct it yourself. We could never do this with our college history books or an encyclopedia. It's time to make it known that two million Greek Americans refuse to accept the status quo. Mr. Haralambides is president of the American Hellenic Institute.

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THE NATIONAL HERALD, AUGUST 29, 2009

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