Monday, September 23, 2013

Pizza N' Such Rules

Rink Rats would like to acknowledge this week our Restaurant of the Year. What makes a good restaurant? Good food, reasonable prices, excellent service, relaxing atmosphere; all these of course. But to this reviewer, above all else the knowledge that the operators of the restaurant truly appreciate and like their customers, such is the case with Pizza N’ Such in Claremont, California.

Claremont’s oldest pizzeria (1979) located 202 Yale Avenue in the heart of Claremont. From the craft beer selection, to the garlic fries and fried zucchini, homemade sangria, and multiple pizza selection, this place rocks; Sue, Mike and Laura Verbal have built a family business worth the visit. This place is simple and no frills. My only complaint is the ice tea. Have never had a good glass, besides that the music, occasional sports game on the TV, friendly but youthful service is good.

The pasta dishes are hearty with the marinara sauce always good; the submarine sandwiches are excellent with the best bread in the Inland Empire. Belly up to the bar for a nice selection of wine and variety of local craft beers.  Top your meal off with a Dr. Bob’s ice cream bowl or Sue’s cheesecake and you are ready to tour the streets of Claremont.

Pizza N’ Such, Claremont, California (909-624-7214) our Rink Rats Restaurant of the Year.

A GOOD READ : Robert A. Caro's gripping, 17,000-word account of JKF's assassination will be published as an e-short by Vintage Books on Oct. 1 ($1.99): "The account -- DALLAS, NOVEMBER 22, 1963 -- is a digital excerpt [that includes about 30 pages] from Caro's bestseller, 'The Passage of Power' ['The Years of Lyndon Johnson,' vol. 4] ... We follow the slow path of the presidential motorcade through the streets of Dallas; we hear the shots; we witness ... the race to get JFK to Parkland Memorial Hospital; the long minutes in which Johnson, unable to learn whether Kennedy is alive or dead, stands waiting in a Parkland cubicle. We watch him take the oath of office on Air Force One ... And we see Johnson taking charge-taking command of the presidency with his unrivaled mastery of political power. ... Caro will be featured in numerous documentaries about John F. Kennedy's assassination this fall."

"To watch Lyndon Johnson take over the presidency is to watch political genius in action. I'm interested in showing political power, and this is like the essence of a presidential power. ... You have the chaos and the confusion of the day, and the feeling that there might very well be a conspiracy -- that Cuba or the Soviet Union right behind it. You see all the chances for a misstep, and you watch Lyndon Johnson handle that with such a sure hand. And then you see him get back to Washington and you see him pick up Kennedy's legislation that was really stalled. ... getting the civil rights bill started on the way to passage, getting the tax cut bill started on the way to passage. ... It's strategic genius, and the use of sheer political muscle. ...

"America was not the same place on November 21, 1963, as it was when Lyndon Johnson left the presidency at the end of 1968. The country had changed, and in many ways the landscape of America has never changed back. ... It's not just the death of a presidency; it's the power passing from one president to another one, who uses it in a very different way."

This marks the first time that Caro's epic biography of LBJ has been unbundled and made available to readers in short form digital. Knopf, Caro's longtime publisher, has had numerous requests from content partners in recent years about making some of Caro's material available in excerpt-sized narrative portions. "Caro's award-winning work is one of the most significant undertakings in modern biography," said Paul Bogaards, spokesman for the publisher, "and we have data sets indicating that those who start reading Caro, who come to at least one volume, eventually commit them all. So the idea here is to present a new way into the work." Caro's LBJ books have collectively sold over 2 million copies. His first book -- "The Power Broker," a biography of Robert Moses -- remains indispensable to City Hall reporters.

"The latest tragedy is all too fresh, but the politics are the same. Last April, a Senate filibuster effectively blocked the effort to expand background checks and ban the sale of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines. Even if it had passed, it seemed doomed in the GOP-led House. And since then, gun rights advocates have increased pressure on lawmakers, successfully recalling two Democratic Colorado state senators who supported gun control measures. Monday's events left advocates calling for more action from the White House and Congress, with some arguing that the series of shootings was having a cumulative effect on the public even if the latest spree seemed unlikely to be as nationally searing as Sandy Hook. 'I think the country and indeed the president have reached the tipping point not because of one mass shooting but because of an aggregate drip, drip, drip of more and more mass shootings,' said Mark Glaze of Mayors Against Illegal Guns - a group New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed to do battle with the National Rifle Association over the issue. ...

"Despite the recent spate of mass shootings, the public does not seem as exercised about the issue as it was in the 1990s when those incidents took place against a backdrop of widespread concern about violent crime. Murder rates have dropped by more than half in many parts of the country."

MASS SHOOTINGS QUICKLY TO THE BACK PAGE -  "Paul Farhi on the short shelf life of the massacre in D.C." ... p. C3, "ESSAY: A gunman kills 12, but the media are moving on," by Paul Farhi (online headline: "Not all mass shootings are equal in the eyes of the media or the public" : "We've moved on, apparently. Barely 48 hours after a gunman murdered 12 people and injured others in another U.S. bloodbath, the national news media had other things on their minds. ... No one announced a telethon for the victims of the Washington shootings or broke out ribbons of any color. ... [T]he national news media's quickly fading interest suggests there was something ordinary and familiar, almost banal, about Monday's body count. ... There were 78 mass public shootings in the United States between 1983 and 2012, according to a Congressional Research Service study, which toted up 547 dead and 476 injured people from this mayhem. ... It's as though the events of Monday morning, after the first breathless reports, failed to jog the media's central nervous system and, by extension, the public's, into a sustained response. ...

"It wasn't Tucson , with its six dead and its now-famous survivor, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. It wasn't Aurora, Colo., with its ordinary, anyone-could-have-been-there locale, a movie theater. It wasn't Nickel Mines, Pa., with the horror of dead Amish schoolchildren. Nor was it Columbine, Colo., or Virginia Tech, with so many promising young lives cut short, nor Fort Hood nor Boston, with the specter of terrorism. And it wasn't Newtown, Conn., with its monstrous slaughter of small children and the adults who had taught and protected them. The cynical truth is that the Navy Yard murders - we've yet to agree on the shorthand name for this event - had neither the kinds of victims nor the story that sustains media interest and public revulsion. Those who study crime can tell you what excites and interests the public ... Outrage is important. ... The Navy Yard murders had only one of these dimensions: They occurred in the District, in the midst of the national media, making them instantly visible. ...

"The event took place in a seemingly secure but otherwise obscure government building, blandly known as Building 197, in a city filled with better-known locales. The victims were mostly government employees, not the soldiers or sailors or law enforcement officers we reflexively memorialize as heroes. And they were mostly middle-aged people, not the children, teenagers or young adults whose deaths create greater spasm of shock. Some of the mystery of the crime ... died with ... Aaron Alexis. He will have no perp walk, no long and agonizing court trial. He appears not to have been an ideologue or a terrorist. He was a young man with demons and guns ... He was also African American, and this apparently matters, says eminent criminologist James Alan Fox. 'It's not nice to say it, but white America tends to be more intrigued about the minds and motives of white murderers,' said Fox, who is a professor at Northeastern University. ... Even as overall gun violence has fallen precipitously, what shakes the national scales has graduated, higher and higher."

HYPOCRISY AT ITS BEST - LARGEST GIFT IN GEORGETOWN HISTORY: Georgetown University Receives $100 Million to Create New Public Policy School. The gift, from Frank H. McCourt, Jr. (C'75) ... will endow the McCourt School of Public Policy ... The McCourt School will contribute policy-based, data-driven research and solutions to the urgent policy issues of our time. ... The McCourt School will ... house a new Massive Data Institute, which will harness and navigate the data that new advances in technology and communications have generated ... The McCourt School will become the ninth school at Georgetown University and the first new school since 1957. The university will officially launch the McCourt School for Public Policy at an academic ceremony October 8 and will celebrate at an event with members of the national and international policy communities, dignitaries and Members of Congress ... on October 9. ... McCourt received his undergraduate degree in economics ... in 1975.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Robert Gates (70), Bryant Gumbel (65), Meat Loaf (66), Olivia Newton-John (65), Cheryl Tiegs (66).

SPORTS BLINK -- NFL TEAMS THAT HAVEN'T LOST YET (all 3-0, except Denver): New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos (2-0; "Monday Night Football" tonight); Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks.

--NFL TEAMS THAT HAVEN'T WON YET (all 0-3): Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL - Ballot Breakdown: Messy Michigan slips 3 spots in AP Top 25; During a weekend filled with blowouts in the AP Top 25, Michigan's second consecutive close call against an inferior opponent dropped the Wolverines in the rankings ... Alabama stayed No. 1 ... but lost some support from the media panel. The Tide received 56 out of 60 first-place votes after getting 59 last week. No. 2 Oregon received four. ... MOVING IN. No. 25 Fresno State (3-0) is ranked for the first time since Sept. 28, 2008. ... MOVING OUT. Arizona State dropped out of the rankings after losing to Stanford.

BOOB TUBE - BREAKING' BAD: The series takes the Emmy for best drama; Anna Gunn wins best supporting actress. Jeff Daniels of 'The Newsroom' is best actor: In an Emmy night marked by both jaw-dropping upsets and predictably safe choices, 'Breaking Bad'creator Vince Gilligan summed up the wild mood swings at TV's top awards ceremony this year. 'I thought this was gonna be [for] "House of Cards,"' Gilligan said with a smile as his series about a chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer took the prize for best drama series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. Indeed, some observers wondered whether the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which organizes the Emmys, might honor Netflix's acclaimed tale of political intrigue. It stars Kevin Spacey as a corrupt member of Congress as the first Internet- distributed series to attain TV's top echelon. But in the end, voters saluted AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' a critically beloved series that is wrapping its run in spectacular style this month-and as it happened, aired its penultimate episode opposite the Emmys on CBS. It was the show's first win in the category.

Anna Gunnalso won a supporting actress award for the series. The statuettes for 'Breaking Bad' were hardly a surprise. Rink Rats correctly predicted 'Breaking Bad' would win the drama category, with 2-to-5 odds. (AMC's period piece 'Mad Men' rated last, at 40-to-1.) But elsewhere, assumptions had to be tossed out the window, with several winners eliciting did-I-just-hear-that-right reactions across social media. The back-and-forth underlined the fact that although Hollywood may indeed be celebrating a new golden age of television- as some winners said-the TV academy is struggling with where to put the appropriate accents."

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/28, 8:00 PM ET, ABC: #23 Wisconsin Badgers (3-1) visit #4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0). Forget the Michigan-OSU game, this has now become the biggest Big Ten game of the year. We reluctantly like Ohio State 28 The Badgers 24.  Season to date (4-0)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/28, 1:00 PM ET, BRAVO: the Brooks Brothers Bowl – Colby White Mules (1-0) visit the Middlebury Panthers (1-0). No polyester within miles of this one, preppy rules. Middlebury 21 Colby 20.  Season to date (2-1)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 9/29, 1:00 PM ET, Fox: a Norris Division battle, Chicago Bears (3-0) at Deeetroit Lions (2-1). Can the Lions go to the next level this season? We shall so see…Detroit 24 Tha Bears 20.  Season to date (3-0)


(NCAA, Sept. 28) #14 Oklahoma 35 #20 Notre Dame 24
(SCIAC game of the week, Sept. 28) Chapman Panthers 35 Whitworth Pirates 21
(MLB, Sept. 28) Cincinnati Reds 6 Pittsburgh Pirates 4
(NFL, Sept, 26) St. Louis Rams 24 San Francisco 49ers 21
Season to date (24-18)

MARKET WEEK - Wall Street is coming off a winning week with a losing finish, with the Dow suffering its worst one-day loss since August 15 on Friday, and the S&P posting its biggest single-day decline since August 27. With the Fed's non-taper now in the rear view mirror, investors will be focusing on a looming government shutdown with just one week before the deadline for a new funding bill.

DRIVING THE WEEK - The Senate likely to take up, change and send the Congressional Resolution funding the government past Oct. 1 back to the House. What happens then is anyone's guess but it seems as likely as not that a shutdown occurs ... President Obama heads to NYC today for the UN General Assembly ... Case-Shiller home prices on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. expected to rise 0.8 percent ... Consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to dip to 80.0 from 81.5

Next week: Jack Ass of the Month.

Until Next Monday, “Adios.”

Claremont, CA
September 23, 2013

#IV-23, 180

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