A bicycle is the perfect way to see the new Bogota, a city now intent on healing, passion, food and dancing deep into the night. Ita€™s a weekday afternoon in BogotaI?, and Ia€™m on a mountain bike dodging potholes, a horse and a minibusa€”and Ia€™m wondering if Ia€™ll survive.
People like Mike Ceaser are helping change that perception by showing us that BogotaI?a€™s ugly history is, well, history. Ceaser stops every five or 10 minutes and peppers his commentary with historical anecdotes, several of which involve Colom- bian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The weather is mild, in the 60s, and ita€™s like this year-round: no snow, no heat waves, no seasons and no air conditioning.
In the market, Ceaser stops at a half- dozen vendors, who all seem to adore him, handing him local fruits for us to sample. The next day, I head out with my friend Francisco for a less adventurous and more literary tour of the city.
We arrive early to get a table and, before long, ita€™s nearly midnight and Ia€™m on a packed dance floor with Juan at what seems like the biggest party in town. But the beat of the music is so intense that ita€™s still in my veins the next day as my plane heads home.
For mid-morning coffeea€”or really any time of daya€”stop by a Juan Valdez CafeI? (juanvaldezcafe.
Nonstop flights on Avianca to BogotaI? from Washington Dulles International Airport five times per week.
The diesel-powered TransMilenio bus system is a vast improvement from BogotaI?a€™s traditional minibuses.
Along with my new Colombian friend Stephany, three Americans and a Brit, Ia€™m following a somewhat loco Californian named Mike through the streets of BogotaI?, making my way through traffic like Ia€™m in a game of Frogger.
We pass the Emerald District, where men in jeans and leather jackets stand on the sidewalk and sell precious stones out of folded pieces of paper.
At 8,660 feet above sea level, BogotaI? sits ad- jacent to an Andean mountain range, one of three that run through the country.
Shea€™s there to keep me company, but she reminds me that a Colombian would otherwise never be caught riding a bike through the city like we are. Therea€™s the granadilla, passion fruit, lulo and mangostino, a tender, sweet fruit that looks like garlic. We pass the National Museum, a gorgeous building lined with hardwood floors that was once a jail, and the Moorish-style bullfighting sta- dium (also used for other events, such as the Davis Cup in September). We pass Plaza del Chorro del Quevedo, a bohemian spot filled with students from the citya€™s many universities. We visit Biblioteca Virgilio Barco, a wonderful round, brick li- brary designed by the Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona. The center has an impressive, donut- shaped bookstore with a courtyard and fountain in the center. By that time, I feel like everyone else at the party is my frienda€”the Colombian soap-opera star that Stephany is ogling, the guy dancing on the table next to us and the DJs behind us, playing everything from Culture Club to reggae to salsa.
I close my eyes and am thankfula€”for the sake of a night of dancinga€”and that I made it off my bike alive.
When you ask a Bogotano where to eat, they often recommend a local chain, and theya€™re worth visiting. Ita€™s within walking distance of Parque de la 93, a cherished green space filled with children and dogs; restaurants also circle the park.
This upscale hotel was renovated from two homes that once housed the personal guard of the South American liberation hero SimoI?n BoliI?var. During his time at Wests John went from a speedy, hard running and tackling winger into a very hard running, ferocious tackling Test playing second rower.But let us not get to far ahead of ourselves a€¦a€¦John was born at Kempsey (not Casino) on the 1-3-1947. So I jump my wheels onto a crumbling curb, giving the horsea€™s nostrils and the busa€™ fender a couple inches of clearance. But the real story is that I am here, in the capital of Colombia, anda€”other than fearing a two-wheeled mishapa€”I feel safe. His tours start from colonial La Candelaria, where narrow streets are lined with colorful houses that have wood balconies and red tile roofs.
We weave in and out of traffic, around motorcycles and past stray dogs and pedestrians on narrow sidewalks. The city is broken into sections: north, central (La Candelaria) and south, with the most up- scale businesses and residences on the north end. Ceaser, whose hands seem to be permanently stained with bike grease, stops a few times to buy street food for us to tastea€”fruit juices and strips of coconut that look like French fries.
Ita€™s also known as the best spot for chicha, the countrya€™s famous fermented corn drink. Not only is this a prized spot for schoolchildren, Francisco says when he was growing up, there was only one library in all of BogotaI?), but ita€™s a fun building, filled with maze-like ramps, beautiful hardwood floors, skylights, an amphithe- ater, water features and an open-air lobby. Up the street is Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, one of the largest public libraries in Latin America.
Colombians tend to order tinto, which is black coffee, and be forewarned: Ita€™s extremely strong. The restaurant, which hires only single mothers, has a beautiful location in a restored house in the Usaquen neighborhood. So, on any given day, only 60 percent of residents are permitted to drive, based on their license plate numbers. The hotel has 64 suites, modern and minimal, all with king-sized beds, some with a spiral staircase and terrace.
The hotel was converted from two colonial homes and today feels bohemian and artsy, a peaceful respite from the loud city on the other side of the lobby.
Filled with natural light, the hotel has 42 rooms decorated in a classic Italian style and two restaurants, including one on the top floor that has perhaps the citya€™s best view of red tile rooftops (and a private dining room that is traditionally where men propose to their brides).
Ceasera€™s shop is filled with old bikes, maps, murals and shelves of used books (for sale or exchange) in English, Spanish, French and German.
Streets and avenues are numbered, and I quickly learn that the best way to orient myself is to find the mountains, always to the east.
On one of our last stretches of the tour, I look down at the pavement and laugh: Finally, after nearly five hours of braving precarious city streets, lo and behold, I see a designated bike lane.
We check out the photography exhibits, walk on the roof, look east and enjoy a fantastic view of the city.

It hosts world- class musicians (and a cool music room with old instruments) and features a full calendar of other public programs.
You can find traditional French pastries and favorite Colombian dishes, in- cluding hot chocolate with queso (cheese that goes into the hot chocolate) and arepas (corn pancakes). There are 32 rooms (about half are brand new), some with lofts, overlooking two tranquil courtyards with fountains; dona€™t miss the new spa.
Youa€™ll be in good company here; ita€™s where the president stays the night before he takes office. Across the street, the Botero Museum showcases the personal collection of the Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, including pieces by Monet and Picasso, plus works featuring Boteroa€™s own plump figures.
But I know enough about chemistry to know that a chemical by itself may be poisonous but not poisonous when in a compound with other chemicals. John was also playing rep football Group v Group.A 1965 A  Johna€™s life was about to change forever. Eric organized for Billy Owens and Noel Kelly to visit and chat to John about playing for Wests in Sydney. He was told that he should play Rugby Union to beat the transfer fee that Smithtown might put on him.The story was if you played RU for 1 year you could move over to League and not incur a transfer fee. One of Johna€™s flatmates was trying out for Easts Rugby League and told John to come along and try out for Easts.John met with Roy Flynn, the Easts treasurer at the time and the conversation went like thisa€¦a€?No chance, bring him back when he grows up!!!a€? John had just turned 18. This chat stayed with John and he always played that little bit harder when Wests played Easts.John, without a car, arrived at Ashfield park via public transport and trained with Wests.
I cana€™t find out the score but John tells me the Water Board boys won.A A The main event.
But you should be aware that the story of Chicken Little is notA  a "fable character." While he did say "The sky is falling" quite a bit, this was only because he had difficulty making contact the his agent provocateur whose actual physical appearance had changed over the years.
One team, drawn out of a hat, would have the luxury of playing the winner of the first playoff match. The video faculty includes Eric Hulsizer, a former Channel 8 cameramanA who photographed "Channel 8 On Your Side," and Lisa Inserra of Cox Media (the company that owns Valpack) who is active in producing television commercials for her company's clients.az?i»? In my program, I've studied drawing, camera operation, scripting, digital imaging, programming basics, copyright law, video editing, website design, sound production and editing. One of myA professors says the program is the best of its kind in the Tampa Bay area and I think he's right.az?i»?i»? Please, please, put the word out to others so that this fine program will be better known. It doesn't matter what your heritage is or whether you are still in high school or old enough for Medicare.
One night Ned arrived to find me asleep on a park bench with a newspaper over my head and I was christened Sleepy which over time was turned into Snoozer.a€?A Below is a story about Johns life now at South West Rocks. Petersburg Collede digital arts program is filled with both talented professors and students. A A Ita€™s a bumpy, dusty drive beside the Macleay River just south of South West Rocks (home to Smoky Cape Lighthouse and a prison with a killer view, Trial Bay Gaol) to get to the big blue shed at Rainbow Reach, with potholes so deep you could fish in them a€“ but the drive is worth it.
John Elfords oysters explode in your mouth, salty and creamy, with a lingering mineral aftertaste.Hea€™s been oyster farming here for a dozen years, is passionate about his product and the river he works and lives by, and reckons he wouldna€™t want to do anything else. As aA  Wests fan in the 1960a€™s and 70a€™s John a€?Snoozera€? Elford was a player I would love to watch play. In your story on stadium horns, you called them vuvuzwelas, what is that funny looking symbol after the photo credits. The image can be used freely, subject to some restrictive terms in the license, including crediting the photographer. It looks to me like he called on Curtis LeMay, Colonel Clearwater - and then realizing he had made a mistake - schluffed it into Colonel Kilgore. Also a Tribute to the late Bob Burns (Fishy) Amazing Lost Scrapbooks found Great Rugby League Web Sites. About Us Contact Us A Tribute to Ben Fisher and Jack Thompson Bill Keato the Lad from Liverpool Old Newspaper stories and photos from the 1960's VALE Laurie Bruyeres VALE Nev Charlton. VALE Bill Keato VALE Vince Karalius VALE Bob McGuiness VALE Denis Meaney VALE Johnny Mowbray Vale Kel O'Shea Vale Mark "Snow" Patch VALE Bob Sargent Vale Ken "Nebo" Stonestreet. VALE Doug Walkaden 1966 Season 1967 Season 1968 Season 1969 Season Noel's Dream Team What a game Wests Photos from the Old Days Case of the Missing Goal Posts A Visit to Old Pratten Park Peter Dimond Book Launch Interview with ------ Noel Kelly Interview with ------ Tony Ford Interview with------- Mick Alchin Interview with Jim Cody Interview with ------ Colin Lewis Interview with ------ John Mowbray Interview with ------ Noel Thornton Interview with ------- Bill Owens Interview with John "Chow" Hayes Arncliffe Scots 1969 Un-Defeated Premiers Arncliffe Scots 85 years reunion 2003 Pratten Park Reunion 2007 Pratten Park Reunion 2008 Pratten Park Reunion 2009 Pratten Park Reunion 2010 Pratten Park Reunion 2011 Pratten Park Reunion 2012 Pratten Park Reunion 2013 Pratten Park Reunion.
Here's a photo of American school children using the original Bellamy salute:A I think the photo speaks for itself.
Colonel Clearwater Dear Colonel Clearwater: What do you think about the Egyptian revolution?
Fundamentalists, in any religion, are usually a reaction to what the followers perceive as injustice. This doesn't mean Egyptian society and culture will necessarily change; it is still their culture and values.
But in the long run any thing they make of it will be for their benefit (and not the benefit of the United States). Not by rampeling down the side of the building like Tom Cruise, but by sliding in with a tourist visa when it was not open to tourists. Clearwater: Republicans are betting that your readers don't care - that after all you did to beat them in 2006 and 2008, you're going to sit this one out. So they're whipping up their base by blocking help to unemployed workers, blocking summer jobs for teens, apologizing to the big companies that gave us the spill in the Gulf, and doing anything else they can do to stop progress. Yes, that Rand Paul, who says freedom means a private business can discriminate against African-Americans, and that President Obama holding polluters accountable for the mess in the Gulf is "un-American." And he's not alone.
One candidate calls Social Security "horrible policy," while another has said that Americans will turn to "Second Amendment remedies" against Democrats. In New Hampshire, Paul Hodes is running neck-and-neck with his Republican opponent to take this seat for the Democrats. We've just started to turn our country around, passing healthcare reform, working to hold the big banks accountable for the Wall Street meltdown, pushing legislation to address climate change and end our addiction to oil.
The GOP is betting big that saying "no" and blocking progress is a path to success in November.What bet will you make? I think the Republicans should adopt as their emblem the condom because it more clearly reflects the party's political stance. A condom stands for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives one a sense of security while screwing others. Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater, Last week, my friend and colleague, Congressman Anthony Weiner, did something very good, and very gutsy. Weiner's report showed that this firm, which sells gold coins, rips off its customers while benefiting directly from Beck's Chicken Little lunacy about the economy.

Every time Beck screams that there is an impending Obama-led government takeover of the economy and your savings aren't safe, he's making a sales pitch for this sleazy advertiser. You see, Beck's ratings have recently crashed, and most of his reputable advertisers have deserted him. Now that he's been exposed, Beck has spent the last week using his big media platform to attack and undermine Weiner - he even set up an attack website designed to damage Weiner's political standing.
This collusion between big media, conservative commentators, and quack economics is a scam, but it is powerful if it remains unopposed. And we need to support people like Weiner, who have the guts to go after right-wing lunacy at the source. Consider his statement: "I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. That oil disaster must be stopped, and a way must be found."I am not the original author of that sensible thought, but it has been my favorite definition of faith for a while. While we have no way of certainty for moving past them, working to find a pathway that takes us beyond our doubts is the best option in my view.
Then how come Congress starts each session with a prayer and the president is sworn in on a Bible? Wants to KnowDear Wants to Know, As I said in an earlier reply, our countrys laws and structure are not based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments, as Sarah Palin and others claim. So most of us do not work on Sunday and some businesses are not open for business on Sunday. So we have a religious custom of not working on Sunday and a secular custom of watching football on Sunday.
The Constitution states that the president must take an oath, but it does not mention anything about a Bible. Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater, I understand you answer, but you say customs and traditions. Wants to Know MoreDear Wants to Know More, It is important to realize the difference between a custom and a tradition.
It is a custom at my house that every year we watch football on Thanksgiving Day after we eat. A tradition is a ceremony invented for the purpose of commemorating some historical event or to develop a sense of binding in a community or religious group. Thanksgiving Day is a tradition in America that serves the purpose of reminding us of what we have from God for which to be thankful and is loosely based on the first harvest feast of the Pilgrims to celebrate their first year of survival in the New World. It is a tradition; a ceremony we use to create a common bond among Americans by commemorating our heritage. When Congress meets, the first thing that happens is that the designated speaker calls the group together. Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater, I have just seen a video about an organization called the Council on Foreign Relations.
This organization has members who were past Presidents and past Secretary of States of the United States, plus leaders in the fields of finance, industry, and other important positions in society.
The spokesman on the video has concluded that this organization must be a part of world conspiracy to take over the world and put the entire world under a one-world socialist government and I agree with him. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an organization of foreign policy experts, people concerned with international trade, prominent historians and writers, as well as others who are involved with foreign policy and international affairs. The CFR hold speaking events with question-and-answer periods which are usually televised on CSpan or other cable stations. The speakers are usually world leaders, historians, writers, or others involved in international affairs. Some of the speakers have included such figures as Nelson Mandela, George Soros, Thomas Friedman, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ronald Reagan.
The journal, which I have subscribed to and read for over 25 years (plus you can buy it at the newsstands in Borders or Barnes and Noble) provides a forum for contrasting views and opinions regarding issues affecting foreign policy. Some people have made a nice living scarring others with conspiracy theories about the CFR. My advice to you is to go to the store, buy and read their journal, watch their events on CSpan, and be wary of people who wish to sell you on the idea that other people are out to get you. Colonel Clearwater________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dear Colonel Clearwater: Cancel my subscription to your liberal rage.
And no matter how great the obstacles may seem, we must never stop our efforts to reduce the weapons of war.
We must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of this earth." Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1984 Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater: Liberals? I realize that there is collateral damage in war, but this is no less than cold-blooded genocide.
They were shooting at insurgents who, upon later investigation, turned out to be civilians. By saying the soldiers were shooting civilans implies that they knew they were shooting civiliansj. The real guilty party are those who convinced the American public that this war was necessary and just. Can you tell me how the "Smallest of the World's Leading Newspapers" managed to scoop "Florida's Best Newspaper?" Pedro TechadorDear Pedro, Always nice to hear from one of the Techadors.This was a WikiLeak scoop.
Palin:Your statement reminds me of what Republican Congressman, Devin Nunes said during the health care vote. And now you are bringing the ghosts back into this chamber." There is no polite way to get around this. Tea Party Patriots are morons when it comes to history, economics, and how to run a society. Much like the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan after World War I, the Tea Party Patriots are people who believe they have lost their privileged status in American society and wish to thwart others hopes for the American dream. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on which editor yells loudest) President Obama considers Wall Street, the banks, the Republicans in congress, and those with tea party policies as necessary players in the solution when they are, in fact, part of the problem.
Both the Senior Citizens' Right to Work Act and the Family Medical Leave Act were passed this way.

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