Find a job »
 Find a car »
 Find Real Estate »
More topics
Full story list
Book club

Editorial obituaries
Classified obits

Special sections
Teens only
TV listings
Movie listings
For the record

Special sections
Find a job
Find a car
Find a Home
Meeting place
Newspaper ads
How to advertise

Site map
News tip
Contact us
SR jobs
Privacy policy


Friday, May 21, 2004


Here's a list of all stories that were posted online May 21, 2004

Once-favored Iraqi ally severs U.S. ties
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi Governing Council member who was once the linchpin of the Bush administration's ambitious plans for a new Iraq, said Thursday that he's severed ties with the U.S.-led coalition after a morning raid at his mansion in Baghdad.

Bush warns violence in Iraq could worsen
WASHINGTON – Iraqis are ready to “take the training wheels off” and assume political power from the U.S.-led coalition, President Bush said Thursday as his administration began to roll out a rough plan for the June 30 transition of authority.

Women accuse priests of abuse
In the same week that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane learned that clergy sexual abuse victims want at least $58 million in compensation, two more lawsuits were filed Thursday alleging sexual misconduct – this time, by female victims.

Gold miners walk in pay dispute
PRICHARD, Idaho – About 25 North Idaho gold miners walked off the job recently, saying they haven't been paid for finding the pay dirt.

Ceremonies honor success of region’s minority students
Out of the 35 cousins in Michelle Moreno's family, six have graduated from high school. So when the North Central High School senior walked across the stage to be recognized Thursday night at the Ninth Annual Hispanic Graduation and Recognition celebration, her mother could hardly stay in her seat.

Israelis leaving refugee camp
RAFAH, Gaza Strip – Israeli troops and tanks began pulling out of the Rafah refugee camp at daybreak today, residents said, after a three-day sweep that left 39 Palestinians dead and drew international criticism.

House OKs $422 billion bill for defense
WASHINGTON – The House broke with the Bush administration over military base closings Thursday, disrupting the otherwise smooth passage of a massive defense bill aimed at securing the nation's military strength and winning the war in Iraq.

Lawmakers bolster Boeing tanker deal
WASHINGTON – In what critics called a symbolic vote, the House on Thursday approved an amendment to boost a sagging Air Force plan to acquire 100 refueling tankers from the Boeing Co.

Portland lawyer cleared
PORTLAND – An American lawyer who was arrested two weeks ago in connection with the terror attacks in Spain was set free Thursday after evidence pointed to another suspect in the deadly train bombings.

Rumsfeld OK’d tough questioning techniques for detainees, officials say
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld last year personally approved a series of aggressive interrogation techniques for suspected Taliban and al Qaeda detainees to extract more information about the Sept. 11 attacks and help prevent future ones, defense officials said Thursday.

Conciliatory speech fails to impress China
BEIJING – Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, gave a conciliatory inauguration address Thursday designed to defuse tensions with China, but its tone was rejected in Beijing even before Chen spoke.

Sesame Street to herald healthy habits campaign
WASHINGTON – With almost one in three American children packing too many pounds, “Sesame Street” muppets Elmo and Rosita went to Capitol Hill on Thursday to join senators in kicking off a national campaign to trim waistlines.

New rules for tissue donation, FDA says
WASHINGTON – Donors of sperm, cartilage and other commonly transplanted tissues and cells must be closely checked for infectious diseases, the government said Thursday in rules that aim to tighten safety in the burgeoning but loosely regulated industry.

Couple’s designs can take the heat
KELLOGG -- Larry Stinson once thought that successful small companies eventually passed some kind of magic mark. It might be a big sale, or perhaps a new client.

High gas prices not expected to hurt summer travel
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gas prices that have soared above $2 a gallon should be little more than a speedbump for a record number of American vacationers expected this summer, according to travel industry experts.

Triple Play teams up on hotel project
HAYDEN -- Triple Play is teaming up with Holiday Inn Express to create a 7 1/2 -acre hotel-and-entertainment complex on U.S. Highway 95.

Economy appears to be gaining some momentum
NEW YORK -- A closely watched gauge of future economic activity edged higher in April, providing more evidence of a sustained recovery.

Itronix Corp. honored at LaunchPad 6.0
Spokane's annual tech party, LaunchPad, saluted the success of one area business on Thursday and launched a regional effort to help other companies reach the same level.

Ebay town finally sells for $700,000
BRIDGEVILLE, Calif. -- This tiny Northern California town, which sparked an ill-fated eBay bidding war nearly two years ago, has finally been sold -- this time for real.

Summit will focus on economic development
A daylong gathering next week in Coeur d'Alene will present an action plan to push regional economic development.

Microsoft cuts worker benefits to save cash
SEATTLE -- Even with $60 billion cash in the bank, Microsoft Corp. is telling employees they're not immune to corporate cost-cutting.

Business News
Strong, company reach settlement Milwaukee Strong Financial Corp. founder and former CEO Richard Strong agreed Thursday to a $60 million fine to settle allegations he made improper mutual fund trades, becoming the highest level executive so far to admit his role in what has become an industrywide scandal.

Inflation worries hamper market
NEW YORK -- Wall Street ended a listless session with stocks nearly flat Thursday as rising oil prices and inflation fears -- and a dose of indecision -- kept most investors on the sidelines.

Boeing won’t rush aircraft facility sale
WICHITA, Kan. -- Boeing Co. told employees Thursday that several buyers have expressed interest in buying its commercial aircraft operations in Wichita and plants in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla.

New York to sue Grasso
NEW YORK -- New York's attorney general will sue former New York Stock Exchange chairman and chief executive Richard Grasso and at least two of the former board members who approved his controversial $187.5 million compensation package, two sources told The Associated Press on Thursday.

National news
Senator calls for Veneman's resignation Washington President Bush should demand the resignation of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman because the department quietly allowed imports of some Canadian beef, despite the ban it imposed due to Canada's case of mad cow disease, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said Thursday.

Deputy shoots moose near Mead
A Spokane County sheriff's deputy shot a moose that was running toward a busy highway near Mead at 6:50 a.m. Thursday. But a state wildlife official said the moose didn't deserve the death penalty.

Nursery sends native plants to their roots
I'm not much of a gardener, but every morning and evening for the past two weeks I've been strolling the perimeter of my back yard, checking on my plants.

Panel to oversee sewage tank inquiry
Ten days after a city employee died in an accident at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Spokane Mayor Jim West said he would appoint a citizens panel to oversee its investigation of the tank collapse.

Many CV students stay home after school receives bomb threats
The Central Valley High School community was on edge Thursday after threats were made the day before that two bombs would be detonated.

Infant Adams dies in hospital
A 3-month-old infant who police say suffered a fractured skull at the hands of his father has died.

Accuracy watch
Wrong address listed for Web site Because of a reporter's error, an article in Saturday's Valley Voice listed the wrong Internet address for the Spokane Valley Heritage Center. The correct address is

Sonneland offer falls on deaf ears
A Spokane communications company wants to give $3,500 to charity instead of spending it on dismantling its illegal antenna on a mountaintop south of Post Falls.

Candidates’ records not squeaky-clean
A few have drunken driving charges. Another was arrested for having cocaine and later became a drug informant. A jury found another guilty for hitting his neighbor with a rake, while the neighbor held a baby.

Bringing the suicide issue to light
Suicide was no shock to Al Holm. As a police chaplain, he'd consoled too many families who'd found a son or daughter or husband or grandmother dead by his or her own hand. He'd counseled too many inmates tired of their failure to stay out of trouble.

But those weren't the souls who drove Al to start the Idaho Suicide Prevention Network. The six people among his friends and family who decided to kill themselves haunted Al for so long that he finally decided he had to do something for others and

Attorney general withdraws from UI case
The Idaho Attorney General's Office has withdrawn from the criminal investigation of University Place, the University of Idaho's multimillion dollar failed real estate venture in Boise.

Authorities believe that wolf killed calf
LEWISTON – Federal agents have confirmed that a wolf killed a calf near the northern Idaho town of Southwick, but other calves and a colt found dead nearby were more likely killed by coyotes.

Montana, feds aim to manage wolves
HELENA, Mont. – Montana's wildlife agency is preparing to join the federal government in management of federally protected wolves, the ultimate aim being to speed delisting of the predators.

Eugster to run against Cozza
At first, Steve Eugster set his sights on Spokane Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno. Then Judge Tari Eitzen found herself in Eugster's crosshairs.

Regional news
Engineer says monorail flawed Seattle A structural engineer who opposes the Seattle Monorail transit project outlined what he called serious design flaws at a news conference Thursday.

Man pleads not guilty to running over wife
A Spokane man pleaded not guilty Thursday to murdering his wife, who authorities say was repeatedly run over by a van.

Wolf managers confirm calf kill
LEWISTON -- Federal agents have confirmed a wolf killed a calf near the northern Idaho town of Southwick but said other dead calves and a colt found nearby probably were killed by coyotes.

Washington man charged in 1990 N.D. killing
BISMARCK, N.D. -- A Washington state man called the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department from a phone across the street early Thursday. By late afternoon, he was charged with murder and ordered held without bond in a 14-year-old killing.

Forestry law limits appeals
WASHINGTON -- Since December when President Bush signed a new forestry law, the government has won 17 straight court cases favoring timber cutting over challenges by environmentalists.

Amish settlement dwindles
SPRINGDALE, Wash. -- Vernon Yoder considers the valley between Springdale and Hunters a “paradise,” except for one thing. There aren't enough Amish people.

Al Qaeda recruits swayed by Web images
BOISE -- Web sites about violent jihad and graphic videos filled with battle scenes were “inspiring,” two young terrorist recruits told a Boise court on Thursday.

Potlatch revises visitor rules
LEWISTON – Outdoor enthusiasts can continue to visit Potlatch Corp.'s 670,000 acres of timberland in northern Idaho, but they must adhere to a new company policy that says tread lightly.

Coal mine unlikely near Glacier Park
HELENA, Mont. -- A commission's 1988 ruling that a proposed coal mine near Glacier National Park would violate an international water treaty would likely still apply to a renewed effort to open the mine, the U.S. State Department says.

Funds for Fairchild approved
About $670,000 for the planning and design of a new office building at Fairchild Air Force Base is included in the 2005 Defense Authorization Bill, approved Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives, a spokeswoman for Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Spokane, said.

EWU electrical engineering degree approved
It wasn't the slam-dunk college officials had hoped for, but Eastern Washington University won approval Thursday to offer bachelor degrees in electrical engineering.

State seeks feedback for after-school plan
It's well-documented that structured after-school programs and activities help kids thrive and stay out of trouble. With that in mind, the Washington Afterschool Network is working on a statewide plan, and it's looking for public input. If you have Internet access you don't even need to leave home.

Thilo faces many political challenges
Our View: We wonder why Kempthorne didn’t reappoint Hammond.

Emmett Till may finally get justice
Half a century ago, the photo of the mutilated body of a young black boy gave many Americans their first shocking view of what life was really like in the state of terror known as the Jim Crow era. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Justice Department has announced that it is reopening its investigation of the murder of Emmett Till.

Looking at how fascism starts is key
AUSTIN, Texas – It's pretty easy to get to the point where you don't want to hear any more about Abu Ghraib prison and what went on there. But there are some really good reasons why Americans should take a look at why this happened.

Why 7? Weekend’s days were numbered
Some things never change. And if anyone can tell me what those things are, I'd appreciate it.

War has us over a barrel So we go to war against an Arab country that never attacked us and end up in an economic war because the Arab world owns most the world's oil reserves.

Father, girl reside in Portland park
PORTLAND – A man and his 12-year-old daughter have spent the past four years living in a remote hillside in Portland's Forest Park, police said.

WSU set to offer a new doctorate in design studies
Washington State University and Harvard University now have something in common – they are the only U.S. institutions to offer doctoral degrees in design.

Conservationists sue officials over national park air quality
HELENA, Mont. – Conservation groups sued the Department of Interior on Thursday, claiming the agency is failing to protect national parks and wilderness areas in Montana and Wyoming from air pollution caused by natural gas exploration.

Group rallies for fired coach, wants answers
Some 30 people, including current and former Ferris players and their parents, braved the rain at Ben Burr Park Thursday night for a rally in support of ousted Saxons boys basketball coach Don Van Lierop.

‘Few Sweepstakes’ begin again if Montgomery leaves Stanford
The Mark Few Sweepstakes, as Gonzaga University athletic director Mike Roth likes to call it, unexpectedly kicked into high gear again on Thursday when it was learned that Mike Montgomery will leave Stanford University to become the next head coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

Vikings steal state victory in eighth inning
POCATELLO – For seven long innings, Coeur d'Alene coach Larry Bieber watched his sophomore pitcher, Heather Helmhout, battle Borah's flamethrowing Heather Dixon to a draw.

Trio carries torch
Matt Oye watched the 2002 State 4A baseball tournament from the dugout, intent, as a sophomore, to absorb the positive traits of North Central's senior pitchers.

Lake City earns date in semis
BOISE – One inning in the Lake City High baseball team's 5A state opener epitomized what Timberwolves coach Cory Bridges warned his team could happen.

Pistons hitting on all cylinders
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Ben Wallace backpedaled while keeping his right wrist cocked after swishing a 19-foot jumper that put the Detroit Pistons ahead by 25.

Ex-GU player Skinner jailed after dorm assault
A former Gonzaga University basketball player is being held on $30,000 bond and faces charges of burglary and assault in connection with an April 23 incident in a GU dorm room.

Mariners break out against O’s
SEATTLE – Remember small-ball rallies? Before they were replaced this season by pretty much no rallies at all, small-ball was the way the Seattle Mariners created castles from the smallest of building blocks.

National sports
Brand defends gender equity at wrestling coaches meeting Calling athletics “the great equalizer,” NCAA president Myles Brand on Thursday defended federal requirements for gender equity in college sports. He said Title IX has not been responsible for cuts in men's sports, although some colleges have used that as an excuse to offset expenses incurred by adding women's programs.

Thursday’s games
Cardinals 11, Mets 4: At New York, So Taguchi had four hits, driving in two runs and scoring two more to lead St. Louis over New York. Scott Rolen, robbed of a two-run homer earlier, hit a two-run shot in the ninth as the Cardinals broke the game open.

Baylor pitcher strikes out 28
Associated Press WACO, Texas -- Cristin Vitek set an NCAA record for strikeouts in a game with 28 in 16 innings to lead Baylor to a 1-0 victory over North Carolina in an NCAA tournament game Thursday night.

On the air
For Friday, May 21, 2004

Piniella’s frustration growing
The anger in Lou Piniella's voice rose with every word, rolling out of his office into a mostly empty clubhouse.

Today’s menu
Baseball College: Loyola Marymount vs. Gonzaga at Avista Stadium, 3 p.m.; Oregon State at Washington State, 6.Off-track betting

Selig says Expos’ fate forthcoming
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expressed confidence Thursday that a new home for the Montreal Expos will be selected by mid-July.

UI coach Perry signs up recruit
Guard Jason Bowden-Key of Prosser High in Chicago has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Idaho, coach Leonard Perry announced Thursday.

Flyers’ top line keeps season alive
PHILADELPHIA -- Keith Primeau saved the Philadelphia Flyers' season. Simon Gagne gave them at least one more game.

Shadow look to continue progress in today’s game
Fresh off the heels of a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory Sunday in Abbottsford, the Spokane Shadow are looking to do something they haven't done so far in this young season: get a first-half lead.

Rockets advance to title game
KELOWNA, B.C. -- The Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets clinched a berth in Sunday's final of the Memorial Cup with 2-1 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Thursday in the final round robin game of the tourney.

Welliver falls short again while stepping up in class
WORLEY, Idaho – The higher you go, the tougher it gets. Spokane's Chauncey Welliver, looking to step up against the top fighters in the heavyweight division, found the going rough Thursday at the Coeur d'Alene Casino's House of Fury, losing his second straight fight by unanimous decision.

Taurasi stars in WNBA debut, but Sacramento gets the victory
Diana Taurasi scored 22 points in her WNBA debut -- including a 50-foot bank shot at the halftime buzzer -- but Yolanda Griffith led the Sacramento Monarchs to a 72-66 victory Thursday night over the Phoenix Mercury at Phoenix.

Jackson scores 31 as Storm prevail in WNBA opener
SEATTLE -- On opening night, Lauren Jackson still looked like the MVP. Jackson scored 31 points and Betty Lennox added 18 points and 10 rebounds in her Seattle debut, leading the Storm to an 88-85 win over the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA opener for both teams Thursday night.

Hunting and fishing report
For Friday, May 21, 2004

40 years later, Mills still overcoming adversity
RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Forty years after becoming the only American to win the Olympic gold medal in the 10,000-meter run, Billy Mills is just getting back on his feet again.

Dyck sidelined with injury; Willy first in triple jump
BOISE – One of the most storied high school athletic careers in Idaho history came to a tearful end Thursday.

Lake City off to fast start at state track
BOISE – Lake City High girls track coach Kelly Reed couldn't have written up a better script for the opening day of the State 5A meet Thursday.

Track athletes aim for state
As if Shantel Haugen's junior year weren't disheartening enough, another setback popped up. The North Central junior athletic standout had already lost most of her entire junior basketball season to an anterior cruciate ligament tear sustained last summer.

Sandpoint earns spot in 4A semifinals
NAMPA, Idaho – Sandpoint High School starting pitcher Noah Hawkins had a case of the state tournament jitters Thursday afternoon.

Area teams split in 3A
A thunderclap directly overhead caused a delay about an inning into the opening-round games of the 3A state softball tournament Thursday afternoon at Ramsey Park.

UW women in 14th at NCAAs
Sophomore Paige Mackenzie fired a 3-under-par 69 Thursday, helping Washington move into a four-way tie for 14th place after three rounds of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Auburn, Ala.

Official records
For Friday, May 21, 2004

Containers an efficient, easy way to garden
Gardening in containers filled with all kinds of colorful and unique plants is one of the hottest trends in gardening right now.

Sales reduce clutter, raise some cash
Take a drive this weekend and chances are you'll see at least one garage sale or church rummage sale happening in your neighborhood.

Brushing up
While summer is the best time of year to paint the exterior of your home in the Inland Northwest, now is the time to start planning.

New generation paints last a lot longer
What's a few years' hiatus from house painting worth to most homeowners? Plenty. Just the thought of weekends saved is enough for homeowners to applaud the paint industry for a job well done.

On today's hand, West's five-club overcall took away all of North-South's bidding space, but North, who reckoned he had enough to bid a slam anyway, cue-bid six clubs on the way to six spades. South cooperated with a cuebid of six diamonds, which would have allowed North to bid seven spades if he had held the trump king. With a minimum opening bid, South would have signed off in six spades over six clubs.

Tune out his ex; focus on your relationship
Carolyn: My fiance has a longtime female friend in New York whom he frequently e-mails and talks to on the phone. He has admitted fooling around with her once in the past but claims they are just friends. She has caused fights between us in the past, and I'm tired of having her around. Recently my fiance and I have been having troubles, and he tells me he confided this to her. Her response was that she was looking for a long-term boyfriend, and maybe he should come up to see her

So who will win ‘Idol’? It’s simple, says Simon
We all know who won't win this year's “American Idol” -- Jasmine Trias, who was voted off this week. But who will the winner be? Diana DeGarmo, according to smart-aleck judge Simon Cowell. He deems the 16-year-old singer the show's “Seabiscuit” in a New York Times interview.

Aries (March 21-April 19)– Speak your mind at work. Your lively side emerges when you spurt out something you didn't mean to. Others respond positively. Brainstorm and relax. Being at home could help you release some tension.

She fusses so much over nothing
Miss Manners

Design books filled with ideas for home decor
About this time each year, a new crop of design books pop up like so many flowers.

Creating more wide-open spaces
A recent health study says the average American is bigger (and heavier) than ever before. The size of the average American home has grown, too -- the latter, perhaps, a result of the former. Though many new houses are larger, often they contain many small rooms. Entryways are more elaborate, kitchens more spacious and great rooms greater, but there is still no shortage of small spaces that could use a little elbow room.

Sweet dreams
Ron Ferguson loved his new mattress so much that after he bought it, he signed on to work at the store that sold it to him.

Stars out for ‘Daytime Emmy’ rite
Daytime TV fans will have to stay up late to watch the “31st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” on NBC beginning at 9 tonight, tape-delayed from Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Reunion shows planned for ‘Dallas,’ ‘One Day’
Dipping deeper into its vaults, CBS has come up with two more reunion specials for next season.

L.M. Boyd Trivia
• The farther apart the dominoes, the faster they fall. • The Chinese invented the wheelbarrow in the First Century B.C. and immediately made it a military secret.

Fox, UPN announce their new shows
Fox will kick off new series in June, November and January -- but none during the traditional September start of a new TV season.

First rule at this Fight Club: No cussing
Outside the Spokane Falls Community College SUB, where the Spokane Freestyle King emcee battle was about to get underway Saturday night, rapper Speed was telling his prophecy. “The first round: all adjectives. The second round: pronouns. The third round: verbs in Spanish,” he proclaimed at the building entrance as his competition and spectators filtered in.

It’s all good for solo-flying Schneider
The so-called pied-piper of Austin, Bob Schneider, has fronted four of the most popular bands in the Austin scene – Lonelyland, the Scabs, the Ugly American and Joe Rockhead. Now he's flying solo with his latest release, “I'm Good Now,” on Shockorama/Vanguard Records. Recorded at various studios, “I'm Good Now” is at the same time pristine and rough-edged pop rock with edgy lyrics about heartache, future loves, drug addiction and personal angst.

Hughes plugs along with his electronica
Jeremy Hughes exists in two (and a half) realities. He stands out in the local rock scene as guitarist for favorites Chinese Sky Candy.

A hip-hop veteran who resurfaced on the rap radar in late 2002 with the hilarious commentary “Year End Rap Up,” Skillz (formerly Mad Skillz) discusses the fall of hip-hop, touring with The Roots, and 1980s music.

Roots bring rap up a notch
Since its late 1970s inception, critics have stiff-armed rap music for making a tradition of using samples as the foundation of its sound, calling hip-hop anti-music. And if it weren't for bands such as The Roots, they might have a leg to stand on.

Don’t expect balloon animals
Coulrophobics beware, the Insane Clown Posse brings the demented Psychopathic Rydas tour tonight at 7:30 to the Big Easy Concert House.

No butts about it; Night Grind should rock
The Spokane Regional Health District is looking to kick butts at its fourth annual Night Grind skate demonstration and concert this weekend.

Solstice owners decide it’s time to move on
Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, when the sun remains suspended above the Northern Hemisphere before the tilt of Earth's axis sends it southward again. That being said, after the June 23 passing of Solstice Restaurant in Liberty Lake – three days after this year's longest day – area residents' suppertimes are bound to darken a bit.

Sizzling summer
Admit it: There are times when you just want to scream. Friends and family are getting on your nerves, school and/or work feels deadly boring, your bank account is nearly empty, the rent is due and your car is making some sort of strange noise.

Links to gay community can be hard to discover
The difficulty of finding information for the Spokane gay community is astounding. When I began writing my first article last week, I scoured the internet for information in regard to specifics on Spokane Pride Week (which is a celebration of all that is gay or gay-supporting in the area of Spokane and the Inland Northwest). I barely found anything of use.

Disney decision smells like bad news
Without bothering to see the documentary, Disney CEO Michael Eisner recently blocked subsidiary Miramax from distributing Michael Moore's “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which investigates political failures leading to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Eisner claimed Disney “did not want a film in the middle of the political process where we're such a non-partisan company, and our guests that participate in all of our attractions do not look for us to take sides.”

Beautiful beasts
“Shrek 2” is “Meet the Parents” for computer-animated ogres, and once again the cat gets the biggest laughs. The frisky feline of the moment is a swashbuckling Puss-in-Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas in a sendup of his Zorro character.

’Shrek 2’ raises bar for summer fun
“Shrek 2” opens today, and I'm taking bets that it's the first movie of the summer to both make money and impress critics. Money has been no problem for the season's first two blockbusters. “Van Helsing” has made something like $84 million in its first 10 days of release, and “Troy” made a little more than half that amount in just its first weekend.

Making sense of voting on reality television
As I sit here applying my 10th layer of aloe on my first sunburn of the season, I realize what an awful candidate I'd be for one of the dating shows (i.e. “The Bachelor,” “For Love or Money,” “Paradise Hotel,” etc.). Women on those shows have deep tans and are willing to spend hours by the pool wearing nothing but their skimpiest bikini, and never once have I seen a deep-fried skin incident or a plea being made to the producers to provide better

Do you believe in movie rentals?
Miracle ••• It's 1980, and the U.S. Olympic hockey team is a bunch of young college players, talented but disorganized and virtually without international experience. College coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), a stern disciplinarian, is hired to whip these boys into shape. And that's exactly what he does, angering everyone involved, from the Olympic oversight committee to his players. But even if his assistant, Craig Patrick (Noah Emmerich), doubts the wisdom of what the

Designer clothes at mall prices?
Reality isn't just the hottest genre on television; it's also the inspiration behind some of fashion's newest lines.

Chicken, waffles: love match
What it is: Two great tastes that taste great together: fried chicken and made-to-order waffles What it's all about: Legend has it that the coupling of chicken and waffles began in 1930s Harlem, at Wells Supper Club. The restaurant catered to a hip crowd (including the Rat Pack and Nat King Cole, who held his wedding reception there) and stayed open until the wee hours, serving celebrities and other late-nighters who couldn't decide if they wanted dinner or breakfast – and so, with this popular pairing, had a

Don’t trust online dates
Q: I started chatting with a guy online two months ago. We get along so well and have a lot in common. The problem is he is 20 and I am 30. We both have strong feelings for each other, but he is embarrassed about my age and worries what his family and friends will think. I don't know what to do 'cause one minute he has feelings and the next he doesn't. I would like to meet this great guy and show him age is just a number. I have always