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Friday, December 3, 2010




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Animal circus protest on December 8

No laughing matter... A tourist jokes with an activist dressed up as a tiger in Valletta yesterday. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier
Sunday, 28th November 2010
Juan Ameen, Times of
Twenty animal rights organisations have joined forces to organise a symbolic march against the exploitation of animals in an Italian circus heading to Malta for the Christmas period.

The Circus Animal Rights Coalition called upon the authorities to stop Circus Martin from performing in Malta. Circuses used painful punishment to force animals to perform tricks that went against their innate nature and behaviour, Mary Grace Vella from the coalition said during a news conference.

The coalition yesterday organised an awareness activity of its upcoming walk outside City Gate where an activist dressed up as a tiger sat in a chicken-wire cage.

The event will be held on December 8, a public holiday, at 5 p.m. at City Gate. Protesters will walk to the circus tent on the Granaries in Floriana.

Ms Vella insisted there was a world of cruelty behind the facade of circuses, since animals were kept in precarious and dangerous conditions during travel and often ended up performing in unsuitable climates.

The coalition is made up of Moviment Graffitti, Island Sanctuary, Noah’s Arc, Alternattiva Demokratika Zagħżagħ, Nature Trust, SPCA and the Association for Abandoned Animals.

Most Disney rides re-opened after smoke

Ride operators redirect Disneyland park guests in Fantasyland Thursday. The several Fantasyland rides were temporarily shut down while crews investigated the source of smoke emanating from behind the Pinocchio ride.
Dec. 2, 2010
ANAHEIM – Disneyland has re-opened seven Fantasyland rides shut down this afternoon because of smoke behind the scenes.
More than 20 firefighters were sent to the park about 12:07 p.m. regarding smoke coming from a large electrical conduit inside the wall behind Pinocchio's Daring Journey ride, said Maria Sabol, an Anaheim Fire Department spokeswoman.

That ride, as of 3:30 p.m., was the lone ride still closed because of the smoke.
Firefighters opened up both sides of the wall and found electrical conduits and the wood frame around them charred, Sabol said. It took 30 minutes for firefighters to get to the source of the smoke and control it.
Firefighters shut down electricity for fire safety, which forced the closure of the Pinocchio ride, Peter Pan's Flight, the Storybook Land Canal Boats, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Alice in Wonderland, the Casey Jr. Circus Train and the Mad Tea Party.
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was already down for routine maintenance.
Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, said an unknown "small incident" caused the smoke. Crews decided to shut off the power while they investigated. Most Fantasyland rides, all on the same power supply, were closed about 12:30 p.m.
During the closures, employees roped off rides and told guests they were down because of a power failure.
Parents and their children milled outside the rides hoping they will re-open soon.
Rita Geraldi, visiting from San Francisco with her husband and two children, waited for Peter Pan's Flight to re-open.
One employee told Geraldi's 6-year-old daughter the ride was closed because Tinker Bell ran out of pixie dust and flew out to get some more.
"I thought it was the sweetest way she explained it," Geraldi said.
Disney began reopening rides about 1:45 p.m.
Officials are continuing to investigate the cause, Brown said.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus promises fantasy-filled world

Ramon Esqueda and his majestic Asian elephants.
(Photo provided)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Staff Reports, Daily Dunklin Democrat
Once again, Memphis, Tenn., will be hosting another thrilling show from Feld Entertainment as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus present the show, "Illuscination," a fantasy-filled world where magic and daring create the most unexpected experiences.
Illuscinator David DaVinci will take audiences to a world that combines the thrill and wonderment with the outlandish fun of the circus.
During DaVinci's act, there will be eye-popping illusions, and transformations guaranteed to blow anyone's mind. The audiences will also enjoy unique up-close magic, all mysteriously interwoven throughout the show. There will even be an attempt to escape a straightjacket while suspended three stories in the air above a den of lions, Houdini style.
In DaVinci's act, he performs with a feathered flock of 10 rare and colorful birds including a Toucan, African Grey, Cockatoos, and Macaws. He is the only illuscinator who does this and these birds can only be seen at the upcoming show, "Illuscination." Under the guidance of DaVinci, the winged performers take flights of fantasy around the arena and will even perform some illusions of their own.
Other performers in the show include Viktoriya and Widny, the Hairdaring Duo, and the Sky-High Sensation, Francleib Rodrigues. Viktoriya and Widny, during their performance, will execute an unbelievable extreme hair hang an amazing 35 feet in the air as Rodrigues, a courageous daredevil, will walk, upside down across the ring, three stories above the audience. All this without the safety of a harness.
Other thrilling performances will be enjoyed by audiences from daredevils all over the globe. These performers include the KungFu Kings that will combine mixed martial arts with the strength to accomplish such feats such as twisting solid metal poles around their bodies and diving through hoops of razor sharp sabers. All this they do while blindfolded.
Another daredevil act is The Barons of Balance, with the world's fastest feet. They will display to the audience the finesse of dancing and will reveal amazing agility as they leap from one thumb thin low wire to the next. Lastly, there is The Salsations who will take vaulting, aerial gymnastics and some really hot dance moves to the extreme.
"Illuscination," will also present those performances from the animal kingdom. Patriarch of the Pride, Brian McMillan will showcase his pack of beautiful golden lionesses and one rare white lion. They will perform a fascinating routine that demonstrates the amazing relationship that McMillan possesses with his cats.
Also on hand will be the Ringling Brothers clowns. After all, what is a circus without a clown? The Clowning Caveagna Family will bring comedy and musical hilarity to "Children of All Ages." According to Feld Entertainment, they will create mayhem as they perform musically and will also interact with silliness and antics.
Feld Entertainment poses the question. Who knew clowns could be so musical and funny all at once?
Before Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey's presentation of Illuscination begins, there will be an All Access Pre-show which is free to all ticket holders. This pre-show will take place an hour before showtime and will give ticket holders the chance to meet the Ringling Bros. performers and animals. You will also be given the opportunity to learn some circus skills and make some lifetime memories for your family before the show even starts.
At the pre-show, you can register for a chance to win a masterpiece created by one of the Ringling Bros. artistic Asian elephants.
Performances will be at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, beginning on Thursday, Dec. 9 and running through Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010.
Showtimes are as follows;
Thursday, Dec. 9- 7 p.m;
* Friday, Dec. 10- 7 p.m.;
* Saturday, Dec. 11- 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.;
* Sunday, Dec. 12- 2 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $14 to $52 and can be purchased at the box office.
If you still consider yourself to be a kid at heart, this showing of "The Greatest Show on Earth," is a good way to indulge that inner child. Enjoy the show.

Pepin honored by 'Greatest Show on Earth' Circus recognizes 12-year-old Alfred girl for lifting spirits of cancer patients

photo by Shawn P. Sullivan
Sydney Pepin, 12, of Alfred, has been honored for her generosity and thoughtfulness in assembling and distributing gift bags to patients who are beginning chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the Cancer Care Center of York County in South Sanford.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
ALFRED/LIMERICK — Cindy Smith, the director of the Limerick Public Library, spent October handing out bookmarks to patrons that encouraged them to nominate a child for The Barnum Award.

The award, presented during the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey's "Greatest Show on Earth" at the Civic Center in late October, recognizes children between the ages of 6 and 14 who have made a positive impact on their communities — by selflessly undertaking a project, for example, or using creative and innovative thinking to develop a solution to a problem.

Smith was inspired to do some nominating of her own when the Oct. 7 issue of the Sanford News arrived at her library. At the top of the front page, a feature story showcased 12-year-old Sydney Pepin, of Alfred, who had started assembling gift bags to give to patients as they started radiation treatment or chemotherapy at the Cancer Care Center of York County in South Sanford. Sydney had visited local businesses and individuals and asked them to donate items to put into the bags. Many of them answered the call, and Sydney soon was able to start providing bags filled with bottles of juice, crossword puzzles and word searches, chap-stick, toothpaste, lotion and other soothing goods to patients as they began their frightening and uncertain journey through cancer treatments.

Smith called Pepin's mother, Sue, a teacher at Margaret Chase Elementary School in Sanford, and asked for permission to nominate Sydney. Sue Pepin gave it — and followed up a few weeks later with a phone call to Smith, informing her that Sydney had won the award.

"It worked!" Smith said of her efforts to have Sydney recognized.

Smith had never met Sydney before, but the girl's generosity connected with her. Smith's brother-in-law and sister-in-law both have cancer and are currently undergoing treatment. Her brother-in-law, in fact, is undergoing treatment at the Sanford cancer center. Reading the Sanford News story, Smith could see that Sydney had "put her heart right into" the gift bag project.

On Oct. 28, Sydney attended the circus in Portland. She took the stage at one point, in full view of a center packed with families, and a clown announced her and four other young recipients of the Barnum Award. The clown — who had orange hair and big feet, Sydney said — gave the audience in the civic center a brief summary of Sydney's project. He then placed a medal around her neck.

How did it feel to be recognized?

"It feels really good," Sydney said.

But here's what has her really excited about the award — it came with a prize of $750 that must be used for her project. The amount, Sydney said, is enough for her to purchase and fill at least a dozen more gift bags for cancer patients.

Sure enough, Sue Pepin said she and Sydney recently handed out more bags to patients on one particular day when surely they needed all the encouragement they could get as they began their treatment — the day before Thanksgiving.
Selectmen want public input before deciding circus request
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Selectmen in Gilford considered a request to bring the circus into town Wednesday evening and plan to hold a public hearing on the matter after hearing from members of the Recreation Committee and the American Legion.

American Legion Post 1 of Laconia has requested the use of the Gilford Village fields for two days next summer to stage the Kelly-Miller Circus. The event would be fund-raiser for the Legion post's programs. Selectmen voted 2-1 to hold a public hearing to decide whether the town should or should not allow the circus to use the Village Fields.

Don Vachon from Post 1 attended Wednesday evening's meeting to answer any questions of the selectmen.

"We are looking for a way to raise some additional funds to support some of the events we participate in and sponsor," Vachon said who estimated the event could bring in between $3,000 and $5,000.

The proceeds would help go toward scholarships that the American Legion awards to students in the community. Vachon said last year around $2,800 was awarded to four students in Gilford alone.

The request for the circus was presented to both Laconia and Gilford. Laconia denied the proposal a few weeks ago. Members of the Legion asked to use Opechee Park, but the Recreation Commission in Laconia voted down the idea because of the possible damage that could occur from the circus.

Vachon said Gilford was not a backup location for the circus; rather, Laconia responded quicker to the request. Members of the Gilford Recreation Commission met on Nov. 1 and recommended not allowing the circus by a vote of 3-2. Commission members highlighted several concerns with the biggest one being the potential damage to the village field which was the primary reason the proposal was denied in Laconia.

Other problems the commission felt the circus would create included the potential impact on recreation staff, restrictions to the use of other facilities at the field during the circus and the potential negative impact on neighbors within the Village because of traffic and the arrival and departure times of the circus.

Selectman Gus Benavides asked Vachon if the circus would be hesitant in signing any waiver that would hold it responsible for any damage on the field. Vachon said they would "absolutely" sign it since the circus would follow whatever conditions were required by the town.

Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene expressed misgivings about the circus proposal.

"The big concern is the potential field damage," he said. "My bigger concern is not if it gets repaired, but rather when it would get repaired."

Greene said the Parks and Recreation Department uses the field in conjunction with other organizations and groups throughout the year. If the field were to become damaged, repairs would need to be done immediately since any delay could negatively affect the programs.

"If the fields are damaged, we would have no place to put the activities," Greene said.

Selectman John O'Brien asked if the Meadows field could be used. Vachon said there would be a problem if there was significant rainfall since it would be a "mud fest." When asked about the possibility of using Gunstock, Vachon said a user fee would be involved.

Recreation Commission Chairman Thomas Francoeur expressed mixed feelings.

"It's a great project, I'm just concerned about the field," he said.

Vachon said if the circus is not held in Gilford, it would most likely be held somewhere down south, such as Concord.

"The damages would be addressed immediately because it's their [the circus'] responsibility," said Vachon.

Benavides moved that there be a public hearing on the proposal to allow members from the public to speak. Benavides and O'Brien voted in favor of holding a public hearing while Selectman Chair Kevin Hayes voted no to the idea.

A special event permit will have to be filed with the town by the American Legion, at which point a public hearing will be scheduled when the Legion can present its proposal and residents will be allowed to speak. Selectmen will take all comments into consideration and make a decision that evening.

If passed, the circus would take place on Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3, with two shows each day, an early show around 4:30 p.m. and a later showing at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010




Dancing poodles means the circus is back in town
POODLES dancing to the late Afro- pop diva Brenda Fassie’s music and a goat walking on its hind legs will leave you in stitches – the McLaren Circus hits East London today.
The circus is here for a month, kicking off at Gonubie Sports Field and later moving to two other sites across Buffalo City.
The travelling circus is an initiative by brothers David and Duncan McLaren from Cape Town, who decided to start their own circus to keep the spirit alive in South Africa.
“We started this four years ago in the parking lots of Cape Town shopping malls and now it has become what we dreamed of,” said Duncan, who performs as a clown.
He said poodles, ponies, camels and pythons all compete for attention with clowns, fire-eaters, sword swallowers and other colourful characters.
Spectators can look forward to seeing Billy the goat, who has been with the team for four years . He jumps the hula-hoop and walks on his hind legs. “Billy loves to show off,” he said.Other characters are two poodles, Sonny and Cher. Cher is the show’s dancing diva, who wears her little dress when she takes to the stage. She dances to the sounds of the late singer Brenda Fassie while Sonny is a caring boy who pushes a pram and jumps through a hula-hoop.
“P eople are guaranteed to have fun,” said Duncan, adding that he was looking forward to performing for the people of East London and surrounding areas.
The circus will be at the Gonubie field until December5, then in Beacon Bay from December8 and finally it moves to Cambridge Police Park on December14. Tickets are between R40 and R80 and bookings can be made on 0827475726.
In the spirit of love , the McLaren Circus invites needy local charities to a free show on December14, at 3pm. Charities need to send a list of children to 0217020434, and there are about 500 seats available. — By XOLISA MGWATYU

.Student juggling group brings circus to campus

Dana Burke / Alligator Staff
Ian Elsner, president of the UF juggling club, Objects in Motion, practices juggling on the Plaza of the Americas on Tuesday afternoon.
Wed Dec 1, 2010.

Chelsea Hull, Alligator Contributing Writer
Ian Elsner puts safety first: No fire indoors, and new members are not allowed to play with knives.
Elsner is the president of Objects in Motion, the official UF juggling club. The club will hold its first solo performance, “Objects in Motion Live! and in 3D” Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.
“As a club we’ve wanted to do a showcase for a long time,” Elsner said. “Seniors will be able to do solos, and it will let new members get a taste of performance.”
Objects in Motion has more than 50 active members, with an average of 30 participants at each activity, he said.
The club meets every Wednesday at 9 p.m. and represents all types of juggling.
Contact jugglers balance an acrylic ball on their bodies and allow it to roll across their arms, shoulders and hands.
Poi spinners twirl sticks with small weights tied to them with colorful string or ribbon. Jugglers toss clubs and balls alone or in groups.
Outside of practice, members often get together to juggle on the Plaza of the Americas.
The jugglers try to draw in bystanders with what they call “the free juggling lesson” — guaranteed success or your money back.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Janet Morales/MMI Performing elephants, clowns and acrobats were just some of the acts of the George Carden Circus at the MACC Activity Center Monday night. Two performances, one at 4:30 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m., provided entertainment for area children and their families on a cold fall day.
Moberly, MO 10/28/2008



By: Kharli Rose
Standing back to back, Amanda Brady, center, and Natasha Smith hold their hands high while Ignacio and Jonathan Ybarra ride motorcycles around them in the “Globe of Death” during the Clyde Beatty Circus.
By: Kharli Rose
Jeanne Ybarra balances a sword on her head during the Clyde Beatty Circus at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.

By: Kharli Rose
Marisa Asmega, 7, laughs at Elmo the Clown during his act in the Clyde Beatty Circus at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.

By: Kharli Rose
Lauren Murray performs her aerial silk act during the Clyde Beatty Circus at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.

By: Kharli Rose
Seirra Lynn, 8, from left, Marisa Asmega, 7, and Devin Keith, 6, marvel at the aerial performances during the Clyde Beatty Circus at the Charlotte County Fairgroun

By: Kharli Rose
Natasha Smith performs her aerial lyra act during the Clyde Beatty Circus at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.


By: Kharli Rose
Tumbling brothers Ignacio and Jonathan Ybarro complete a double somersault on the trampoline during the Clyde Beatty Circu at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.