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Students and faculty react

Published Thursday, February 5, 2004 1:00 am
by Julie Maheu

Reactions are mixed on FAU’s Boca campus surrounding the investigation of Fulbright Professor Mustafa Abu Sway’s alleged terrorist ties.
While some have the utmost confidence in their university, others are concerned.
“It makes me kinda nervous that FAU might have let a terrorist come to our school,” said Andre Lopez, a freshman psychology major. “You’d think they’d be really careful who they bring here, especially now.”
Abu Sway, a visiting Palestinian professor at FAU’s Jupiter campus, is accused of having ties to the terrorist group Hamas and is currently under investigation by the university.
The allegations were initially made last October by Daniel Pipes in an opinion piece published in The New York Post and again last week in another article by Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky that ran in the New York Sun.
Although in October FAU was assured by the State Department that Abu Sway’s background check revealed no ties to Hamas, the university is now calling for further investigation by the State Department and the Fulbright program.
Dana Roberts, a junior political science major at FAU, said she doubts the university did anything wrong.
“If he has (terrorist) ties like that, I don’t necessarily think it’s the university’s fault that they were not discovered,” she said. “I’m sure they did what they were supposed to do to find out about him before he came here.”
Clevis Headley, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Special Assistant to the Dean of Diversity at FAU, said he thinks the allegations are unlikely.
“I’ve heard these rumors,” Headley said. “But I really don’t think that FAU would hire anyone who may be linked to terrorism. When you consider Immigration and the backgrounds checks that are done, it just doesn’t seem likely.”
FAU Associate Professor of Political Science, Timothy Lenz, said politics definitely play a role in this controversy.
“It’s more politically controversial,” said Lenz. “The controversy is so great that it’s difficult to separate biases from truths. This isn’t the only university in the country where this sort of thing has happened.”
Andrea Hill, a senior anthropology major, said she doesn’t know when to take these investigations seriously.
“This happened here a couple years ago after September 11th,” she said. “They thought this kid who went to school here was a terrorist, but found out he wasn’t.”
Hill said she’s not going to worry about terrorism at her school until something concrete is discovered.
“I hear about (possible terrorists) so often, it’s like ok, another one,” she said. “And I’m sure we’ll hear more because that’s just the state of the world right now.”

Local teens go searching for a diabetes cure

Two Boca Raton teens will be heading to Washington, D.C., to urge lawmakers to help find a cure for an illness that’s a part of their daily lives.

The teens, Samantha Stevens, 15 and Zachary Ullman, 17, have been diagnosed with Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes and will serve as Florida Delegates for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress, held on June 18 through June 22.

Samantha Stevens, a student at Pine Crest School, has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was diagnosed at 5 years old. Since then, she has had to test her blood sugar up to four times a day.

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Samantha says that testing her blood sugar has never been a problem. “When I was younger, I wasn’t scared of getting tested because my mom would do it for me and you never think that your mom will hurt you,” she said.

“Now I can test anywhere, it’s not a big deal. I can even do it in the dark at a movie theater. It’s just a part of life”

Stevens is also on the Pine Crest swim team and says that the extra precautions are something she has to work through. “I have to get to practice and check my blood sugar but then I just get right back into things.”

Steven’s mother, Pam, said that Samantha “deals with her diabetes courageously. It’s a 24/7 burden but it doesn’t stop her from doing what she wants to do. It’s never a question of whether or not she can do something; it’s asking, ‘How are we going to do this?’ She makes the appropriate precautions and arrangements and goes on with her life.”

Stevens was chosen to tell her story as a child delegate out of thousands of applicants because of an essay she wrote to the JDRF’s Greater Palm Beach County Chapter.

Samantha says her main goal when she speaks in front of the Senate is to “Emphasize the benefits and the possibilities of stem cell research to support our cause.”

Zack Ullman, who’s had Type 1 diabetes since he was 15 months old, said he will tell his story about dealing with the obstacles that diabetes creates throughout his daily life.

“It makes life very complicated, “ said the senior at Atlantic High School, who has an insulin pump, “If my blood sugar goes low, it becomes hard to think, communicate and move. You also have to watch what you eat every second.”

Through the educational journey, the teenager said he hopes to become an active member in finding a cure.

“I’m going to spread the word to people I know, family, friends and their friends about diabetes and the trip and make them become more active as well,” Ullman said.

Funding for embryonic stem cell research, a method to possibly find a cure for diabetes, is controversial because of ethical concerns.

At a May 31 press conference, President George W. Bush said: “I understand the folks that are deeply concerned for their – a child who might have juvenile diabetes. I know that the moms and dads across the country are in agony about the fate of their child. And my message to them is, is that there is research going on and hopefully we’ll find the cure. But at the same time, it’s important in the society to balance ethics and science.”

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $800 million to diabetes research.

The delegates and JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore will thank members of Congress for passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 under the theme of Promise to Remember Me.

It’s time to say it: she’s overrated In My Opinion

Published Sunday, July 3, 2005 11:00 pm
by Cory Jennerjohn

Just in case you think you have to actually win anything in order to gain celebrity or prestige, you should take a good hard look at Danica Patrick.

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Patrick may have won over Indy Racing League hearts after she became the first female to ever lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500 — after ultimately finishing a respectable fourth. But she isn’t the prophesied savior of the open-wheel racing sport.

I don’t have a problem with Patrick gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated for vanity purposes. On the IRL website, she’s outfitted not in her racing uniform, but a striking green dress.

Let’s face it: sex sells. The national magazine probably sold a whole newsstand’s worth of SI’s with her face emblazoned on the cover, as opposed to actual winner Dan Wheldon.

But, like Anna Kournikova — who could only conquer the tennis doubles game — Patrick has been in the pits ever since her breakout performance in May.

The very next week at Texas Motor Speedway, she flopped by finishing 13th and she answered that with a 10th place finish at Richmond International Raceway.

That marks five double-digit finishes in eight races this year.

She may be a rookie, but the 23-year-old speedster has the shoes of the entire IRL world expecting big things out of her.

That’s what they thought they got when Patrick became the second woman in history to earn the pole position when her No. 16 car came to rest after breezing through qualifying at a mind-numbing 214.688 mph in the Argent Mortgage Indy 300.

Like her short career, the celebration was short-lived. Patrick lost the top spot on the lead lap, and engine problems caused her to backpedal to a ninth place finish.

It seems every winning IRL driver — aware of the Patrick Phenomenon — is getting a little perturbed about the attention she’s getting for not winning anything.

“You guys wanted Danica to win? Sorry,” Tony Kanaan said after winning the Argent Mortage Indy 300 Sunday. “You got to wait until next time.”

A week after winning the Indy 500, Wheldon strolled around the Texas Motor Speedway proudly bearing a T-shirt that read, “I actually ‘won’ the Indy 500.”

Wheldon would later claim that he isn’t upset, that he knows Patrick’s good looks are doing a great service to the sport. And, frankly, he’s right.

How many people actually care about the IRL the moment the Indy 500 banners come down? Ever since the nasty split between IRL and CART in 1996 when CART boycotted the Indy 500, open-wheel racing has been abandoned in the garage.

Patrick will likely be plastered on the covers of FHM, Maxim and other respectable magazines, but phony smiles won’t be able to guarantee checkered flags.

Unlike Serena Williams — who followed the almighty dollar in endorsements — Williams actually proved herself by winning the 2002 French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and 2003 Australian Open to nab the “Serena Slam.” But after she spent too much time designing her new clothing line and not dashing on the tennis court, she was bounced from this year’s Wimbledon by No. 85 ranked Jill Craybas.

At least Patrick doesn’t have to worry about a letdown. In order to have a letdown that means you first must be at the top of your game, and it is clear she is still too green for trophy talk.

But if and when that happens, the racing diva will still stuff her purse with wads of cash. And from the way this season’s going, that won’t happen on the pavement.

To contact Cory Jennerjohn call 561-893-6629, or e-mail him at coryj@bocanews.com.

Palm Beach County gearing up for bird flu ‘pandemic’

Published Thursday, March 9, 2006
by Dale King

The federal government as well as Palm Beach County can help residents deal with an outbreak of avian flu – if and when it arrives.

But in the final analysis, people have to prepared, County Commissioner Mary McCarty told members of the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowners Association at its meeting this week.

“A lot of things being done by the federal government and the state – which operates the Palm Beach County Health Department – are not finalized,” she said.

“A lot of it has to do with the distribution of vaccines. And the vaccines they have may not be the ones that are needed – because the virus is mutating.”

McCarty did say it would difficult to contract avian flu. “You would literally have to kiss a bird,” she said.

“We are keeping an eye on it,” she said. But she also urged residents to take action similar to what they would do if a hurricane were drawing a bead on Palm Beach County.

“Have a five day supply of food on hand,” she said. “Limit your social engagements.” She also said to bring a bottle of antiseptic gel to wash germs from your hands.

McCarty said the precautions are similar to those that would be taken to avoid contracting any type of flu.

Dale M. King can be reached at 561-549-0832 or at dking@bocanews.com.

Elections head reports ‘productive’ first year

Published Tuesday, February 7, 2006
by Dale King

The office of the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections on Military Trail in West Palm Beach isn’t the center of controversy it used to be.

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When Theresa LePore left that post after losing a bid for re-election in 2004, the TV trucks, police cars, protesters and reporters who came from as far away as Japan, left.

Arthur Anderson, the former Florida Atlantic University professor who defeated LePore in the August 2004 primary, has brought a different management style to the facility that handles elections, voter registration and electoral issues across Palm Beach County.

Anderson, a former Boca Raton resident, has just finished his first year in that office – a year he said was “a very productive” one.

He told the Boca Raton News that public opinion about the supervisor’s staff has improved. Also, “we opened a fully staffed office in the Glades in August. We have two full time people there. And I’m delighted that one of them is Hispanic.”

The minority community had complained loudly that polling places were not neighborhood friendly or easily accessible.

Anderson said he is reaching out to minorities – even making overtures to the Finnish community and to those who speak Creole. “We want to emphasize language and cultural diversity.”

The new elections boss was swept into office on a wave of Democratic support led by people like U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler and County Commissioner Burt Aaronson, who demanded changes in the current touch-screen voting system, which doesn’t give voters a paper receipt. Wexler, in fact, still has a lawsuit pending.

LePore defended the accuracy of the touch-screen machines – the ones that replaced the punch card ballots that caused an international ruckus during the 2000 presidential election. But the furor over voting accuracy helped bring her down in a closely fought primary.

Anderson said he had little contact with LePore during the transition of office. “I did send her a dozen roses,” he said. “She never acknowledged them.”
The current elections chief has never bashed his predecessor. His only assessment is that she spent too much time overseeing all the office’s operations rather than delegating authority.

After taking office – and after organizing a couple of quick municipal elections – Anderson turned to his own staff. He reorganized some of the personnel, establishing “a management team” with employees in various supervisory roles. He said he meets with them weekly to share input and make sure operations are going smoothly.

Anderson said he has tried to impart “inclusiveness to the staff, to impart value.” He offers an “Employee of the Month” award – chosen by staff members — and has also created a newsletter, “The Staff Star” that is “totally produced by the staff.”

Honored employees get a certificate and a half-day off with pay.

“They take a lot of pride and an added sense of value,” Anderson said of the 40 full time workers in his charge. That doesn’t count the 5,000 or more poll workers he has to hire when a countywide election takes place.

Anderson is also working to ramp up the office’s community outreach by meeting with schools and civic organizations. In May and November 2005, he conducted two weeklong voter registration sessions at high schools – and signed up about 4,000 people.

The new elections supervisor took some heat last year when he presented a budget to County Commissioners that was 78 percent higher than LePore’s last spending sheet. Anderson said it included money for some legislative initiatives that didn’t go through. So the budget ended up increasing just 6 percent.
He said he knows commissioners personally from his eight years on the School Board – three as chairman. “I was no stranger to them,” he said. “A few had mixed emotions about replacing the former supervisor. But I didn’t feel any animosity or challenges.”

The main plank in Anderson’s campaign was a promise to create an election system that provides the so-called “paper trail.”

It won’t happen in time for the March municipal elections. And while he hopes something can happen by November, he isn’t certain.

He said he is getting input from the Palm Beach County Coalition for Election Reform.

Anderson wants to come up with an answer soon. He said if the county keeps the touch-screen machines that have caused voter grumbling, he’ll need 500 more of them by November.

Luckily, he said, he placed an order with manufacturer Sequoia in December so they can be delivered.

But that poses another problem. Where to store them. The supervisor’s office is filled to capacity. Actually, Anderson said he has moved some items to the former King’s Academy to make room for the new apparatus on Military Trail.

With elections coming up soon, Anderson is also looking at the early voting system imposed in 2004. “We need voters to be better prepared, and to be ready to vote on the issues,” even if it means bringing a “cheat sheet” list into the voting booth.

He also wants more sites designated to cut down on waiting time. He would also like early voting to end the Saturday before the election rather than Sunday. The last Sunday is “a tremendous strain on our staff” as it prepares for a Tuesday regular election.

Dale M. King can be reached 561-549-0832 or at dking@bocanews.com

Boca’s Nabi gets “fast track” for Hepatitis C drug

Published Thursday, February 9, 2006
by Corey Siggins

Boca Raton-based Nabi Pharmaceuticals has received approval to move its new Civacir product candidate into a “fast track” status.

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Nabi received special Fast Track status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Civacir, an antibody designed to stop Hepatitis C from re-infecting liver transplants previously conducted to rid patients of the disease.

Under this FDA designation, a drug company is able to facilitate the development of products that treat serious diseases “when an unmet medical need exists.”

In addition, Fast Track regulations allow the review process for new products to be quickly implemented and given priority.

“The Fast Track designation provided by the FDA not only acknowledges Civacir as a viable potential treatment option for Hepatitis C patients, but it also recognizes that current therapies are inadequate,” said Henrik Rasmussen, senior vice president of clinical, medical and regulatory affairs at Nabi.

Hepatitis C is known as the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States and a leading cause of liver disease that results in organ transplantation.

According to statistics compiled by Nabi, approximately 6,000 liver transplants take place yearly across the nation-the majority of which are caused by Hepatitis C.

Although the risk of liver transplant patients being affected with Hepatitis C again is high, most current therapies have shown a limited ability to reduce the chances of such incidents occurring.

With that in mind, Nabi officials have been diligently working in order to bring Civacir to the worldwide market.

Thomas McLain, CEO/chairman and president of Nabi, remarked that Civacir will hopefully build upon the commercial success of the company’s Nabi-HB, used to treat Hepatitis B.

“Combined, Civacir and our Nabi-HB product could represent better medical care for patients and a reduction in healthcare dollars spent on additional transplants,” McLain said.

Having Civacir’s newly expedited developmental process will include a Phase II trial later on this year to see how many antibodies are needed to protect a transplanted liver from re-infection with Hepatitis C.

An outside scientific and clinical advisory panel will also collaborate with Nabi during the Phase II trial, providing additional guidance.

These efforts, along with input from regulatory bodies within the United States and Europe, will aid Nabi in its quest to begin producing Civacir for Phase III testing in October.

The testing will be conducted among 100 American and European post-liver transplant Hepatitis C patients to determine what specific tolerance and safety levels should be met. Testing data is expected to be available in the second half of 2008.

“Civacir is an important and strategic part of Nabi’s product portfolio,” McLain said. “We remain committed to advancing this clinically and commercially important global franchise.”

Contact Corey Siggins at 561-549-0845 or at csiggins@bocanews.com.

Hate Speech Boca anti-Semitic website host tells site owner to “take his business elsewhere.”

Published Thursday, January 5, 2006
by John Johnston

As a reaction to the then Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in 1957, the Internet was born in about 1958 when the US Department of Defense, and with about 10,000 primitive computers, began something called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Dr. J.C.R. Licklider was chosen to head this effort, and his vision for “interconnected communities” found the word “net” added to DARPA to then become DARPANET — which later became the Internet.

The phrase World Wide Web (WWW) was really a popularization of the idea of a “web” of actual lines connecting one Internet user to another. It evolved from the creation of the first web browser by Tim Berners-Lee in 1980. Visited daily on the Internet, there are now many millions of “websites.”

Boca Raton

In 1970, there were a mere 1,000 Jews living in Boca Raton. By 1984, there were 33,700, and by 1999, there were 69,000. New demographic results to be published this week show 1 in 5 Palm Beach County residents are in fact Jewish.

Boca Raton and Delray Beach boasts the oldest Jewish population in the nation: 69 percent are age 65 and over; and Boca Raton itself has about 5,000 Jewish teenagers.

So it’s ironic that an anti-Semitic website, Jewwatch.com, would find a host in Boca Raton. But it did.

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It’s further ironic that Palm Beach County is also the home of well-known white supremacist, racist, and anti-Semite Don Black in West Palm Beach. Based on Black’s website Stormfront.org, he’s a staunch supporter of Jewwatch.com.

An additional irony (and a separate part of this story) is that if you type the word “Jew” into Google, the world’s best known search engine, the just noted Jewwatch.com shows up at the very top of the search results.

Google’s official response to this?

“A site’s ranking in Google’s search results is automatically determined by computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page’s relevance to a given query. Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted. A search for “Jew” brings up one such unexpected result.”

Google uses so-called “algorithms” in determining end search results. (A further irony is that the word “algorithm” is derived from the name of the 13th century Islamic mathematician Algorismi.)

The word “algorithm” is defined as “a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.” In explanation (not defense) of Google’s process, nationally known Consulting Programmer Seth Finklestein told The Boca News: “Google ranks popularity, not authority. It cannot distinguish between fame and infame. And popularity is a measure that is vulnerable to many games. Any system of evaluation is subject to manipulation.”

Finklestein said Jewwatch.com showing up at the top of the Google search results from so-called “Google bombing.”

The Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia defines a Google bomb as “a certain attempt to influence the ranking of a given page in results returned by the Google search engine.”

This is accomplished through insuring that many sites have the same links, and then having those links refer back to one web page.

A Google bomb is thus created, and Google’s algorithms (based on popularity) then push the site further to the top of the list – ultimately resulting in Jewwatch.com being number one currently on Google’s search results when you type the word “Jew” into its search query box.

Finklestein said the practical reality is that such internet manipulation (euphemistically called “Search Engine Optimization” ) is more and more being “applied to extremist politics rather than commerce.”

Examples of some of the most famous Google bombs are also expressions of political opinion (e.g. “liar” leading to British Prime Minister Tony Blair or “failure” leading to President George W. Bush.)

Google said last September: “We don’t condone the practice of Google bombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we’re also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don’t affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.”

Google has “a history of near-stonewalling, and a well-known culture of secrecy,” Finklestein said. “So I write about this from a technology and policy perspectives, trying to analyze the algorithmic reasons involved, and examine the implications. I don’t do political lobbying of Google myself, but rather try to make the political lobbying more informed on all sides.

And like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in its defense of Nazis, Finklestein said, “my views are roughly that it’s unreasonable to demand Google remove sites for being offensive, even extremely so — that would be a bottomless tar pit.”

He added, however: “But their algorithms have some very deep issues that are worth examining, and documenting these problems is part of that process.”

The Issue

On the home page of Jewwatch.com, it claims to be an educational archive. It goes on to say, however, that it’s “keeping a close watch on Jewish communities, organizations, monopoly, banking, and media control worldwide”

The home page contains categories such as “Jewish-Zionist-Soviet Anti-American Spies”, “Jewish Communist Rulers & Killers”, “Jewish Terrorists”, and more.

“It is unarguably a site devoted to anti-Semitic “hate speech,” Finklestein said. “However, such material, though repulsive, is completely protected under the United States Constitution First Amendment, though other countries may consider it illegal.”

The problem, Finklestein said, is that “this objectionable site was the first result in a Google search for the word “Jew” – caused by the constant Google bombing.

The Host

What does Boca based host of this site, Hostgator.com, say about Jewwatch.com?

Hostgator.com began in Boca Raton in 2002, and now has more 200,000 clients; it uses a Dallas based firm, The Planet, as its server and connectivity provider.

Hostgator’s initial response to a Dec. 30 letter of complaint about Jewwatch.com (and it quoted from Jewwatch itself) was that Jewwatch is a “not-for-profit library for private study, scholarship, or research. This is not a hate site. This is a scholarly research archive of articles.”

“That’s about as from reality as one can get,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Southern Area Director Art Teitelbaum told the Boca News.

“Jewwatch is a model of hate — a megaphone for anti-Semitism, and is run by what the attorney general of Missouri considers among other things, a scam artist, who’s accused of having concocted post Katrina websites designed to attract and reportedly misdirect innocent contributions by persons attempting to help those who suffered from the storm.”

“Hostgator wasn’t initially aware of Jewwatch,” Teitelbaum said. He said Jewwatch is “designed to fool those who reach it by appearing to be another straightforward web directory. At first glace, it might be thought to be benign until one scratches the surface and finds that it is a platform for anti-Jewish rhetoric and conspiracy theories.”

“Now Hostgator is aware,” Teitelbaum added, “and it’s completely in their discretion to decide whether they want to be a party to advancing these hateful objectives.”

When contacted by the Boca News, Hostgator President Brent Oxley said that, and with more than 200,000 clients, he was not personally aware of Jewwatch.com until recently.

“We operate an honorable business. As soon as we were legally able to do so, we advised the site owner to take his business elsewhere” he said.

Hate Sites

In 1995, West Palm Beach resident Don Black, now 51, created what is believed to be the Internet’s first hate site, Stormfront.org. Black says “Stormfront is a resource for those courageous men and women fighting to preserve their White Western culture, ideals and freedom of speech and association, a forum for planning strategies and forming political and social groups to ensure victory.”

“Since its creation, Stormfront has served as a veritable supermarket of online hate, stocking its shelves with many forms of anti-Semitism and racism,” says the ADL.

And from a Stormfront,org forum, Atlanta, GA member named Kilay came a specific reference to Jewwatch.com in 2004:

“Please, this is an honorable thing to do, it takes a little effort, but with all the support of Stormfront and its friends, we can do this to help spread the truth. The Jews have the power of the media, so we need to take it back from them and defeat them. Out of 3.7 million pages that come up from typing the word “Jew” into Google. Jewwatch used to be number one. Let’s take it back.”

Apparently that’s happened because at press time, typing the single word “Jew” into the Google search box continues to result in Jewwatch.com being the number one search result.

Jewwatch

Frank Weltner runs Jewwatch.com. Based in Herndon, VA, he says Jewwatch.com is a scholarly site.

His critics point to Weltner’s own words in contradiction of the “scholarly site” assertion. Weltner has said, according to Wikipedia:

“Tolerance is a medical term which describes how America has been systematically and purposely poisoned by its government forcing citizens into living side-by-side with hostile races, cultures, attitudes, and religions. These are people who constantly hate, argue, vote against, and otherwise pick on the majority and work against its interests. This is why majorities should remove all minorities from their midst, for in this way only comes peace and quiet for anyone.”

Weltner received an MA in English in 1969 from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He also has 18+ hours in Library Science and is certified as a teacher for life by the Department of Education of the State of Missouri.

According to Wikipedia, Weltner is a “racial separatist who believes that all races should live in their own nations, free from all other races.”

Site Specifics

The ADL is also aware of Weltner. On its website, ADL says “Jew Watch organizes its anti-Semitic materials much in the same way a popular Web directory might group more benign information.”

The ADL says Weltner presents accusations that Jews were “behind the terrors caused by Russia’s Communist regime in website link to a page called: “Jews, Communism, and the Job of Killing off the USSR’s Christians.”

“Jewish Genocides Today and Yesterday” on the website, “describes an alleged Jewish plan to deport non-Jews from the US in 1946, the ADL said, adding that the site also contains Adolf Hitler’s writings, transcripts of Father Charles Coughlin’s anti-Semitic radio broadcasts in the early part of the 20th century, “and the text of Henry Ford Sr.’s bigoted ‘International Jew’ .”

“Larger Issue”

“The larger issue,” according to ADL’s Teitelbaum, “is the use that haters and bigots of all stripes have made of the Internet. They’ve taken a high-tech, low-cost valuable medium, and perverted it to advance the ideas of hate, divisiveness and a variety of bigotries.

“Weltner is clearly a callous, calculating neo-Nazi who combines old school hateful ideas with modern technology — the Internet has been a boon for bigots,” he said.

“And what do we learn from all of this,” Teitelbaum asks?

“There is a constituency of hate in America — a sub-culture,” he said, “and one exploited by individuals like Weltner and Don Black whose ideologies reject the very notion of living harmoniously.”

“They spit in the face of the founders of this great country, and all that makes America a great nation.”

Boca man gets a charge out of his second all-electric car

Published Monday, December 12, 2005
by By Dale M. King

While bureaucrats haggle about the expediency of automobiles powered by hydrogen, electricity or gasoline-electric combinations, Richard Newman of Boca Raton is far ahead of the pack. He just took delivery of his second totally electric car, a purple, 2006 one-seat vehicle called the NmG-1 that can travel up to 75 miles an hour for up to 40 to 50 miles on a single charge. The car plugs into an standard electric outlet outside his home. Actually, Newman, a local philanthropist, long-time science buff, collector and owner of a vast collection of scientific artifacts, has a couple of the cars.

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The gold one is a 2000 model – the sixth Corbin Sparrow to roll off the line at an assembly plant in Hollister, Calif. That firm built only 255 of the one-seat vehicles before folding on March 31, 2003. Myer Motors has picked up where Corbin left off. It bought out the electric car company, and, after a couple of years of retooling and revamping, it has brought the vehicle back to life. The first of the Myer-built cars – Vehicle Number 001 – now sits in Newman’s driveway, next to its golden predecessor. Newman’s gold-color car bears Florida tag “ELCTRC.” The newer one has a temporary plate now, but will eventually have “No Gas 1” on the plate. For their size, the cars are loaded. His gold Sparrow is equipped with power windows (standard), a rearview camera, a combination AM-FM-CD-DVD player mounted under the dash and an XM satellite receiver. He said he designed the rearview camera and the audio-video player. You might see the owner of the only fully electric cars on the East Coast driving around the neighborhood. But you can find out a lot about him, his cars and his collections at HighTechScience.org. You might also have seen them on the silver screen. He noted that the original Sparrows were featured in several movies, including Austin Powers’ “Goldmember.” Newman owns both the gold Sparrow and the purple NmG. But he had been taking care of another Sparrow, a blue one, which he lent to the South Florida Science Museum for a display. That one is heading back to Myer Motors in California to update its operating systems. Newman said the gold Sparrow has already undergone modernization so its electrical system is on par with the 2006 model. He said Myer Motors plans to manufacture only about 30 of the Sparrow successors, making them the most limited edition vehicle ever. Then, the company will retool for its “next generation all-electric vehicle due out in late 2006 or early 2007,” he said. Newman, owner of High-Tech Productions, a videotape and disc duplication company, said he loans many of his collectables to schools and museums for educational purposes. As part of his business, he also distributes videotape, boxes and labels to government agencies, school systems, the military and police departments coast-to-coast. He said HighTechScience.org has helped Myers Motors with many design improvements with the NmG vehicle. “We are proud and satisfied just being able to help a company bring a cleaner, non-polluting vehicle to the market,” he said. Newman’s home is a haven of alternative energy sources. He has a 50,000-watt, dual-fuel generator that runs on either natural gas or propane. The Newman house was cut off from Florida Power & Light during Hurricane Wilma. But the generator kicked in three seconds after electricity stopped – and kept on going. He said he and his wife drove around in the electric cars without worrying about getting gasoline. He also has a massive propane grill, pool and party area outside his house. He opened it up to neighbors who visited, ate and enjoyed pinball and video games during the eight days that electric power was off following Wilma. “Everyone had a blast,” he said. Dale M. King can be reached at 561-549-0832 dking@bocanews.com.

Owner celebrates ‘spiritual awakening’ as popcorn store is declared kosher

The Popcorn Zone gourmet popcorn store in Boca Raton has recently obtained kosher certification from the Orthodox Rabbinical Board (ORB) of Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

With the kosher designation, the Popcorn Zone becomes “the most diversified kosher popcorn store in the world,” said Sherri Rothberg, who co-owns the store with her husband, Barry.
The koshering process was time intensive, but ultimately proved to be a labor of love on behalf of the community.

“You have to submit kosher certification on all ingredients and submit a product and ingredient statement,” she said. “We needed to kosher our whole kitchen. This involved rendering all appliances, surfaces, dishware, cookware, utensils, and virtually everything else involved in food preparation compliant under a rabbi’s supervision. The metal and glass utensils had to be boiled and then taken to the Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath). It takes an entire day,” Sherri said.

Everything that was made in the store prior to the koshering process had to be discarded. The ORB performs periodic re-inspections to ensure the store continues to comply with all kosher rules.

“We could not be happier that we went kosher,” Sherri said. “It’s worth everything. For me, this has been a spiritual awakening. It’s a very nice feeling. We feel so good when people come in. They’re so grateful and thank us for becoming kosher.”

Boca Raton is home to a large Orthodox Jewish community and many observant Jews reside in the neighborhoods near the Popcorn Zone, Sherri Rothberg said.

Kosher foods also appeal to the broader community, including many followers of the Muslim, Hindu, and Seventh Day Adventist faiths, as well as vegetarians and individuals who are lactose intolerant.

The popcorn is made in original flavors like butter (although butter is not used) and plain; carmelized flavors like banana, blueberry, and orange; kosher cheese flavors such as white cheddar and Chicago; savory flavors like pizza and salt and vinegar, and nutty flavors like Snickers and carmel nut. The store also features a ‘Flavor of the Day.’

Like wine tasting sessions, gourmet popcorn connoisseurs can sample the freshly popped popcorn with a variety of colorful flavor coatings that are kept in the large glass jars behind the counter.

“This is my second time here,” said Carrie Klafter of Boca Raton. “I just love the popcorn. I want to use it as a decoration for my restaurant.”

Kosher smoothies are drinks that the Popcorn Zone has recently introduced. The smoothies are particularly aimed at satisfying the thirst of Orthodox Jewish teens at the conclusion of Sabbath on Saturday nights, Barry Rothberg said.

Barry and Sherri founded the Popcorn Zone about a year and a half ago.

“I was in advertising and marketing and working out my home,” Sherri said. “I said I need something to do, and Barry said ‘what do you want to do?’” I said ‘popcorn,’ and he looked at my like I was crazy.”

Boca immigrant charged with repeatedly raping 14-year-old

A possible illegal alien living in Boca Raton has been charged with repeatedly raping the 14-year old daughter of a woman he helped emigrate from Costa Rica five years ago, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
BSO spokesman Hugh Graf said detectives arrested Marvin Leon, a Costa Rican national living in a Boca apartment complex at 1625 Northwest 13th St. on Sunday at his Deerfield Beach carpenter’s shop within hours of interviewing the girl and her mother. Leon, 51, gave deputies a full confession to molesting and raping the girl between the middle of August 2004 and last Saturday, according to police.
“We don’t know if any of these people are in the country legally,” Graf said. “Right now, our main concern is keeping the girl safe from this monster.”
Leon reportedly befriended the victim’s mother when they came to the United States together in 2000. Months later, he helped the woman bring her daughter, then 10, to Florida as well. The woman and her daughter live in Lighthouse Point.
Graf said the woman was aware that Leon had started molesting her daughter last August, but did not know he was raping the girl until she called Lighthouse Point authorities last Saturday.
The mother said she remained silent for several months because Leon had threatened to kill her family, and also because she distrusted the American justice system, according to police.

It is really a challenging one for the parents who have girl babies. Because raping is going viral in every place and the children are mainly focused by the rapists. The experienced rapists should be punished for encounter and they should be hung before all the people in the country. We could hear many news about raping and the government should take some serious steps against this problem. There is no privacy and security for the small children.

Graf would not say whether fear of deportation was the main factor that kept the woman from calling police. Citing state policy, he also would not disclose the social security numbers of anyone involved.
Most of the sexual assaults took place in Broward County. Although Leon started out by molesting the girl, police said he was soon taking her to hotels and to his carpentry shop to have sex with her.
Other assaults occurred in the Orlando area, where Leon took the girl on at least one occasion, according to police.
“This man was abusing, molesting and assaulting this little girl over the course of a year,” Graf said. “It’s a horribly nasty situation. It’s a heinous, stomach-churning crime.”
Leon is being held on $180,000 bond and is charged with 18 separate sex crimes against a minor. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted on all charges.
Additional charges may still be pending, police said.
If any local residents have information on Leon, they are urged to call the BSO sex crimes unit at 954-321-4240.