Woman falls from Tall Ship, Romney blows it with conservatives, Space shot visible here, Joel Meyerowitz gets a new pair of shoes, Pro & Anti Gay Marriage rallies

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discovery12906NASA launch last night was visible from Cape Cod

At 8:47 pm last evening NASA sent the Discovery back to service the space station, a eagle-eyed Cape Codder who looked south in the clear, bright sky saw it rise. 

On Cape Cod the rising shuttle Discovery was visible on Cape Cod in the south or southeast. Those with telescopes reported seeing the booster rocket flare as it separated a few minutes into the flight. See updates on CNN.

ihtUPDATE: NHL Hall of Famer Bob Gainey's daughter swept off ship

laura_gainey It was the daughter of NHL hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey who was swept off a Nova Scotia ship during an Atlantic storm in the story below.

Laura Gainey, a 25-year-old crew member on right, was washed off a deck at the back of the vessel by a rogue wave Friday night. Her disappearance was confirmed Sunday by the Montreal Canadiens. Bob Gainey is the team's general manager...Read the rest of this IHT story here.

Search resumes Sunday for woman overboard a tall ship in mid-Atlantic
Rogue wave hit Picton Castle 540 miles southeast of Cape Cod

HALIFAX (CP) - A report of a woman overboard from a Nova Scotia-based tall ship in rough seas off the eastern U.S. coast had rescue officials scrambling late Friday night.

pictoncastle1_01 A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman identified the vessel as the Picton Castle, a 55-metre (180 foot) barque based in Lunenburg, N.S. Matthew Brooks said details about what happened to the woman in her mid-20s were sketchy.

"They did a head count once she was noticed missing, and at that point they realized she . . . as far as we know, went overboard in the rough seas," Brooks said in an interview from the coast guard centre in Norfolk, Va.

He said the crew aboard the Picton Castle "threw numerous life rings and lighted buoys out over the side to try to mark the area, and possibly for her to grab onto something." The woman, who has not been identified, was noticed missing sometime Friday night. The coast guard was notified around 10 p.m. ET.

Brooks said the tall ship, with 29 people on board, was approximately 880 kilometres (540 miles) east-southeast of Cape Cod, Mass., and had been sailing south toward the Caribbean at the time of the mishap. Winds in the area were between 55 and 75 kilometres (35 to 46 miles)  an hour, along with sea swells up to six metres (20 feet).

Click map to see location at sea Brooks said the crew of the Picton Castle was doing all it could to find the missing woman, but searching was difficult given the darkness and the rough weather. "They've turned around, they're attempting to search as best as possible," said Brooks.

Officials at the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax said a commercial tanker about 120 kilometres away from the Picton Castle was the closest ship in the area. The tanker was expected to take at least six or seven hours to reach the tall ship to offer assistance.

The Halifax centre also said a Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft from Greenwood, N.S., was to head out early Saturday morning. The Picton Castle was too far out to sea for land-based Canadian helicopters to reach. Another Hercules from North Carolina will take over from the Canadian aircraft later Saturday, said Brooks.

Brooks added that they were attempting to find other commercial ships in the area to lend assistance, but the poor weather conditions had kept most mariners away.

The Picton Castle is owned and operated by the Windward Isles Sailing Ship Co. Ltd. The ship functions as a deep-ocean sail training and long-distance education vessel... Read the rest of this story here.

UPDATE: The captain of a Nova Scotia-based tall ship says a rogue wave swept one of its crew overboard in a fierce storm off the U.S. coast Friday night. Dan Moreland, who was in Lunenburg, N.S., says crew aboard the Picton Castle notified him at home shortly after 9:30 p.m. that a 25-year-old woman had gone overboard after the 55-metre vessel ran into severe weather... Read the rest of this Montreal AM940 report here.

Darkness forced the U.S. Coast Guard to temporarily end the air search Saturday night. U.S. Coast Guard officials say the search will resume at first light on Sunday; however, they note the maximum survival period would be about 36 hours, given the water temperature, the woman's physical condition and other factors.

"The 36-hour point should be about nine o'clock (Sunday), so if we do a first-light search in the morning that will take us through that 36-hour point,'' Lieut. Stephanie Burns, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Coast Guard, told The Canadian Press. "At that point we'll evaluate whether or not to actually suspend or possibly keep searching.'' Read this update from CTV here.

nytimesRomney blows it with conservatives on Gay Right & Same Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 — Gov. Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts Republican who has built a presidential campaign on a broad appeal for conservative support, is drawing sharply increased criticism from conservative activists for his advocacy of gay rights in a 1994 letter.  Mr. Romney’s standing among conservatives is being hurt by a letter he sent to the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts saying that he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than Senator Edward M. Kennedy, his opponent in a Senate race, in a position that stands in contrast to his current role as a champion of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,” Mr. Romney wrote in a detailed plea for the support of the club, a gay Republican organization. The circulation of the letter by gay rights groups in recent weeks has set off a storm of outrage among social conservatives, and by Friday was looming as a serious complication to Mr. Romney’s hopes.  Aides to Mr. Romney, who did not dispute the letter’s legitimacy.. read the rest of this New York Times story here.  and the Globe story here, and below read the BayWindows column by Laura Kiritsy (below right) which scooped the mainstream media on this story here:

See the Bay Windows scoopRomney is a big fat liar

kiritskylaura The fact that there’s intense interest in a letter Mitt Romney wrote to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Club 12 years ago in which he pledged to be a more ardent advocate for gay rights than U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy isn’t a surprise. (See “Follow That Trail,” page 15.) Romney is an all-but-declared candidate for president who’s staked his candidacy on social conservatism. Any hint of hypocrisy on Romney’s part with regard to LGBT issues is of great use for political reporters, GOP primary opponents and LGBT activists alike. What is surprising, though, is the depth of Romney’s hypocrisy.

In 1994, when Romney was running for U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy, he engaged in a lengthy interview with Bay Windows during which he discussed his views on employment nondiscrimination legislation, the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy — and civil marriage rights for same-sex couples (see “Mitt’s secret gay history II,” page 10). The interview was published Aug. 25, 1994. His views on gay issues in 1994 are largely at odds with his stated views today... Read the rest of the Bay Windows story here, and comment below.


S-TAnti-gay marriage forces mobilize
Rallies aim to turn up heat on lawmakers to allow vote

marriagerally_nov19_2A Catholic political advocacy group is organizing rallies this weekend in New Bedford and two other cities to urge state legislators to vote on a proposed 2008 ballot question to ban same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.  Catholic Citizenship, a member of the coalition that sponsored the petition drive for the ballot question, hopes the events will show legislators that citizens do not want them to "use procedural moves to avoid a vote," said Bea Martins, the group's public policy coordinator for the Fall River diocese area.

On Nov. 9, state legislators dodged a vote on the ballot question by voting 109-87 to recess the Constitutional Convention to Jan. 2, the last day of the legislative year.
Gov. Mitt Romney is one of several plaintiffs who filed a complaint with the Supreme Judicial Court saying the Legislature has violated the state constitution by not voting on the ballot question and asking the court to put the question on the ballot in 2008... Read the rest of this Standard-Times story here.
cctimessmallGay marriage activists rally on Cape Cod

BARNSTABLE - The gay marriage debate on Beacon Hill spilled over to the Cape yesterday afternoon, with partisans on both sides of the issue demonstrating outside the Barnstable Superior Courthouse.

About 100 gay marriage opponents gathered in the parking lot outside the courthouse to urge the Legislature to vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriage. If lawmakers endorse the amendment by Jan. 2, the proposed amendment would go before voters as a ballot question in 2008... Read the rest of this Cape Cod Times story here.

nytimesJoel Meyerowitz gets a new pair of shoes
We’re Not in Keds Anymore

meyerowitzjoelOver the centuries, doctors, holy men, philosophers, psychologists have argued about where to locate the sanctum sanctorum of human consciousness. Is it in the heart, the head, the liver, the stomach ... points farther south? Despite the best efforts of the pharmaceutical industry, it is still anyone’s game. One might imagine, for example, a photographer restating the famous Descartes dictum to reflect a different view: “I see, therefore I am.”

Certainly Joel Meyerowitz has relied on an eagle eye to create a celebrated array of work, from the raw and wrenching panoramas of the World Trade Center destruction (collected in a new book, “Aftermath,” from Phaidon) to lively New York streetscapes and atmospheric Cape Cod landscapes. But he has come to locate his own spirit farther south than even the viscera. “Going to get a new pair of Keds for the baseball season was something I really looked forward to when I was a kid,” Mr. Meyerowitz said. “I could see myself in them streaking down the base paths, covering the territory as if I had put on winged shoes. Especially after a long winter of heavy leather shoes, those new Keds were really liberating.”

While Mr. Meyerowitz may wish that almost 50 years had not passed before rediscovering that his heart was really in his feet, he is thrilled to have had the fact brought home in style. In 1998, for his 60th birthday, his wife, Maggie Barrett, gave him a pair of shoes like no other. He had to travel down to E. Vogel, the 127-year-old custom cobbler in Lower Manhattan, to have his feet measured so the shoes could be made... Read the rest of this New York Times story here.

tag1Patrick, Murray take aim at new energy projects
Special focus’ being placed on alternative power source
s, Cape Wind

It was one of Deval L. Patrick’s more memorable claims during his campaign: If the state could develop new industries based around advances in alternative energy, “the whole world would be our customer.” Now as he structures a new administration and its agenda before taking office next month, the governor-elect is facing the task of translating his big idea into green kilowatts and jobs, turning energy crises into economic opportunity.

Having formed a working group to focus on energy and environmental issues, and included alternative energy executives on the team preparing his economic development agenda, Mr. Patrick said he wants to designate high-level staff members to coordinate renewable energy efforts within his administration.

“I think it’s very important to have a special focus on energy,” Mr. Patrick said. Referring to a decision to create a labor secretariat to focus on employment issues, he wants a similar coordinator to oversee renewable energy work in his new administration. “I’m looking at how we create structures and organization in order to give it that kind of emphasis and focus,” he said. rom his view, a lot is riding on making the state a leader in the field... Susan F. Tierney, a former federal energy administrator and state environmental secretary who is co-chairman of the Patrick-Murray working group on energy and environment, says the Cape Wind offshore turbine project, while controversial, could also prove a bonus for developing turbine technologies here.

War in the Middle East, growing concern over global warming, and a surge in new capital and foundation funding available for alternative energy projects are all pushing the alternative energy agenda forward here, Ms. Tierney said. .. Read the rest of this  Worcester Telegram story here, and comment below.

Boston GlobeMayors look to Patrick camp for a 'new partnership'

As Governor-elect Deval Patrick prepares to take the oath of office, leaders of the 13 cities north of Boston are voicing a common hope that the new administration will be considerably more responsive and helpful to municipalities than the current occupant of the corner office.

"I think expectations among municipal leaders, especially in cities, are high for what we would generally call a new partnership around revenue sharing and things like" investing in infrastructure and education, said Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard. Amid such upbeat assessments, some leaders are also cautioning that the new governor's promises -- positive as they are -- may be difficult to achieve.

"I wonder where he's going to find the money," said Beverly Mayor William F. Scanlon Jr... Governor Mitt Romney got off to a rocky start with the state's municipal leaders, making deep cuts in local aid soon after entering office to help cover a looming state deficit. The relationship with local governments did not improve much from there... Lynn Mayor Edward J. Clancy, a Democrat who was also neutral on the race, praised Patrick for "being honest about the income tax" and for showing "courage" in favoring the proposed wind farm off Cape Cod. "After that, I can't think of a thing I agreed with him on."  Read the rest of this Globe story here.

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