The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on April 18, 2002 · Page 16
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 16

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Thursday, April 18, 2002
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I OWMJFE The Des Moines Register ST Page 68 Thursday, April 18, 2002 Get the Most Out of Life FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS REGISTER FILE PHOTO Just right: A discovery about how tomatoes ripen could have application for many fruit farmers. Research pinpoints gene for ripening Scientists have found a gene that turns hard, green tomatoes soft and red. The discovery could help farmers control ripening of many fruits, giving more leeway in shipping, handling and storage. Researchers from New York, England and Texas isolated the gene, which is carried in virtually every commercial strain of tomato. Now the scientists can check whether other fruits, such as strawberries, bananas or melons, have a similar gene. Writing in the latest issue of the journal Science, the researchers say it may be possible to genetically engineer these fruits to ripen more slowly. Kids can check playground safety The National Program for Play- j ground Safety, based at the University of Northern Iowa, encour- j ages children ages 5-12 to check for hazards at the park. The nonprofit organization pro vides a checklist. Questions include: Is the equipment at the right height? Equipment should be below 8 feet for children ages 5-12. Does the surface have appropriate materials? The most appro priate materials to cushion a fall are sand, pea gravel, wood prod ucts, shredded rubber, rubber mats or poured-in-place rubber. Are all the spaces less than 32 inches or greater than 9 inches? Spaces that are between 3K2 and 9 inches can cause strangulation. For more information, visit the National Program for Playground Safety s Web site at: www.uni.edupIayground or call (800) 554-7529. bland hoaRh wortteis stem skills In Down By MARY CHALLENDER REGISTER STAFF WRITER Your 2PWorth To the idiot that thinks downtown Des Moines looks like ground zero: There is a difference between construction and destruction. You're upset about a minor detour or delay. You ought to be ashamed. Central Iowa construction worker If guns kill people, then pencils must misspell words. Responsible gun owner on south side Please don't call our police force on domestic violence and decide to sue them because of what happens after they get there. Des Moines woman Someone needs to give sports announcers serious grammar lessons. Rural Polk County man The word strength has a "g" in it. It is not pronounced "strenth. Polk County man J.E.L commercials are not trying to give you a guilt trip but warn you of potential risks from smoking. I agree the things they do are sometimes extreme, but they are trying to make kids who are pressured to smoke say no. 13-year-old nonsmoker A 24-hour phone line for anonymous callers. Just leave a message on the recorder, Call (515) 284-8244. Calendar 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. "Esta Bien!" Creative Participatory Theatre for Children, the Des Moines Playhouse, 831 42nd St. $3. 277-6261 Noon. James Autry, author, The Book Store, 606 Locust St. Free. 288-7267 7 p.m. "Publishing a Children's Book," by Chuck Richards, Ames, Brunnier Art Museum, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center. Free. (515)294-3342 7-9 p.m. "A Plant Breeder's View" class, Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 E. River Drive. Members $7, nonmembers $9. 323-8900. 7:30 p.m. Central College Vocal Combos I, Cox-Snow Recital Hall, Central College. 812 University, Pella. Free. (641)628-5157 Where: Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 833 Fifth Ave. When: 5 p.m. Saturday $20.25-$40.25. 243-1888 What: BACCI-Bike Ride Around Carroll County Iowa Where: Graham Park, Carroll When: June 8 (712) 792-4383 ike many college students, Pam Auguste s search for an education has taken her far from home and left her deep in debt. What's unusual about the 38-year-old nurse is her motive: She's not looking for a better job or more pay. She wants to improve medical care for a small island community. Auguste, a student in surgical technology at Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, comes from St. Lucia, a Caribbean island with a population about the size of Des Moines and a mean annual income of about $3,000. Although basic medical care on the island is good, Auguste said, residents must travel to other islands or the United States for advanced procedures like open heart surgery. Education is also lacking, said Auguste, an operating room nurse at St. Jude's Hospital in St. Lucia Nurses receive little schooling beyond a junior college program. It's up to experienced nurses like Auguste to pass on whatever insight they gain, even if they feel inadequately trained. When Auguste learned of a possible scholarship to Mercy's surgical technol ogy program, she jumped at the chance. Although the scholarship never materialized, Auguste made the trip anyway, on an $18,000 student loan. "I had my mind set upon it already," she said. "I came to learn new skills and see if things are done any different from St. Lucia so I can go back and help them out." Auguste is one of two St. Lu-cian residents studying in the Des Moines area Fitzpatrick Gilkes, who worked with Auguste as chief financial officer of St. Jude's Hospital, is enrolled in the master's program in public V7- 1 I: . jr. V? :')' V? v.' " 7 1 . ' j N , " :w ' st- GARY FANDELTHE REGISTER Determined: Pam Auguste, an operating nurse from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, came to study in Des Moines even after a scholarship fell through. "I had my mind set upon it already," she says. adniinistration at Drake University. Like Auguste, Gilkes, 37, plans to use what he learns to help his homeland. "It will be a means of advancing my career, and I do believe the health care on the island needs more qualified people to make the system better," he said. In Iowa, the two St. Lucian students have been reunited with their former boss, Kathy Comito of Des Moines. Comito served as administrator of St. Jude's Hospital from 1999 to 2001. For Gilkes and Auguste to come here represents an "incredible investment," Comito said, and demonstrates the eagerness she saw in all of the staff atSUude. "We just take so much for granted here," she said. 'We can go to school and get continuing education all the time." Although she's only been here a semester and a half, Auguste said she's already has identified ways to improve health care in St. Lucia Hospitals here follow much more in-depth procedures Support fund A fund has been established for St. Lucian students at Mercy College of Health Sciences who plan to work on the island when they complete their education. Send donations to St. Lucia . Scholarship Fund, Mercy College, 928 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50309. to sterilize instruments, she said, and to keep bacteria out of the operating room. A straight "A" student, Auguste said she spends four hours a night studying. She says she was far behind her American classmates in at least one area basic computer skills. Tm really slow at typing paperwork. A lot of students, they go like that," she says, her fingers flying across an imaginary keyboard. The most challenging aspect of her time here, Auguste said, has been the distance from her family husband Dennis, also a nurse, and daughters, Natasha, 21, and Ashnah, who just turned 16. "Every day I think about them," she said. "I miss them so much. I cried so much my brother helped send me a ticket so I could go home for Christmas for three weeks. Gilkes should receive his master's degree in May 2003 while Auguste is on schedule to complete a one-year certificate program in July. Her original goal was to earn a two-year associate's degree, she said, but she doesn't think she can afford to borrow another $18,000 to stay another year. ' In St. Lucia, she earns about $900 a month as a nurse. Her visa doesn't allow her to work here. "Hopefully if I pray hard enough I'll get financial aid to do another year so I'll graduate with an associate degree and really be able to teach," she said. MUSIC REVIEW Quartet mixes a successful concoction What: TO Wrestling What: Orpheum Theatre Fund-Raiser Where: BR Miller Middle School Auditorium, Marshalltown When: 7 tonight $25. (641) 751-7900 Today's Horoscope Joyce Json CREATORS SYNDICATE ARIES (March 21-Aprll 19). Caring for those who are less fortunate is the road to humanitarian success. Spend more time planning this week, and you'll be able to say "no" without feeling guilty. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Keep telling yourself that you make good decisions. Someone close may envy your accomplishments, and he or she will let you know with subtle verbal jabs. GEMINI (May 21-June21). Your hunches are lucky. Watch and listen for hot tips from friends and acquaintances tonight. You can make money the same way they did. Warning: Don't mistake ambition for lust. CANCER (June 22-July 22). You will get a favorable response by spending time, effort and money on your appearance. Exciting new channels of self-expression may help you handle a pesky problem. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You've got a handle on a stressful situation, so trust your instincts. Think of creative and fulfilling ways to earn a living. Your newfound talent is worth working on. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Reciprocal energy may surprise you, but it shouldn't people want to give back. Job offers will come when you focus on your craft instead of raw talent. I get LIBRA (Sept. 23-0ct. 23). You' respect, if not fantastic results. An opportunity for compromise is high lighted, so be sure to make one. You'll find the help you need. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Be kind to yourself and to the rest of the world. You've generated a lot of prosperity, and people appreciate you for that. Be positive with your mate about your future together. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You'll be a winner in a new relationship if you don't fall into the same trap as last time. Provide love wherever it's lacking. Use introspective vibes to polish your skills. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Your performance skills are featured. Do you feel like sharing? If so, reach out and exchange stories so others can relate to you. Replenish spiritual energy with vigorous physical activity. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). A serious matter will only be resolved through the aid of an impartial mediator. You'll be included in a family deal, so stop pouting. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Accept yourself before accepting change. Don't blow off your plans for the night or you'll miss out on meeting a charming love potential. Established couples need to find new ways of enjoying each other's company. By KYLE MUNS0N REGISTER MUSIC CRITIC Utterly delightful. Endlessly inventive. In rrrining the poetry of Carl Sandburg for musical inspiration, jazz drummer and fellow west- central Illinois native Matt Wilson wasnt weighed down by the printed word. On the contrary, he and his quartet, augmented by guest singer-guitarist Dawn Thompson, sounded uncommonly liberated as they approached each poem from a unique angle and used Sandburg's free verse to leap out of jazz and into blues, rock, country even hip-hop. This took place on Tuesday night at the Hotel Fort Des Moines' Grand Ballroom in front of an audience of about 60 and was the second stop on Wilson and company's weeklong tour for "The Carl Sandburg Project.'' The grant-supported experiment also played in Iowa City and culminates tonight and Friday with performances at the Carl Sandburg Days Fest in Galesburg, 111. The quartet minus Thompson started the concert at full tilt with the non-Sandburg tune "Andrew's Ditty," featuring saxophonists Andrew D'Angelo (the song's author) and Jeff Lederer squeaking and squawking madly. Their twin attack was backed and perfectly balanced by Wilson and crack bassist Yosuke Inoue. But when Thompson joined the quartet on stage, the musicians delved into the project in earnest and all bets were off. Wilson and company at times stomped their feet, shouted above the music and roamed about the ballroom as they explored the crossroads of Sandburg and Wilson. The full text of Sandburg's poem "Choose": "The single clenched fist lifted and ready, Or the open asking held out and waiting. Choose; For we meet by one or the other." That was transformed into "Socialist MarchFreebop," which, true to its title, gradually veered from a driving tempo worthy of John Philip Sousa into more traditional jazz interplay, but with the band members frequently exclaiming "Choose!" "Soup" flowed into a deep blues groove. "Bringers" was cast in a guitar-bass-drums trio as a romantic waltz, sold by Thompson's clear and compelling voice. A couple of the most successful poems-turned-tunes might have ended up kooky but sounded made for music. "Pass, Friend" became a joyous ska romp to close the first set, and "Offering and Rebuff went country. Not every interpretation was an outright marriage of words and music; the two saxophonists picked up where the poem "Useless Words" left off and created a spastic cacophony of babeL D'Angelo performed a wordless, solo interpretation of Sandburg's "Bee Song" on bass clarinet. Overall, Wilson's project more than avoided what might have sounded like a bad hangover from the Beat Generatioa Wilson didnt shoehorn Sandburg into the more limited role of pop lyricist. He simply did what all good jazz musicians do: have a jam session with the guy. And the fact that Sandburg has been dead since 1967 didn't seem to hamper Wilson in the least. Speak Up Frustrated, neglected girlfriend still sticks around Astrologer Joyce Jlllson offers a personal forecast Irom Touch-Tone phone to callers 18 and older. Call 1-900-420-2787 (99 cents per minute; average calls last three minutes). Dear Jennifer: I'm in a rela tionship that I've been in for 14 years with the father of my kids. We were going to get married two years ago, but his mother entered the picture wanting things her way, so we canceled the wed ding. Now it seems like he doesn't have time for me or for the kids. I've cut back on things that I used to do for him, such as ironing his clothes and cooking dinner every night. I still do the laundry because I get tired of looking at the dirty clothes piling up. I took of f all the rings that he has ever given me. I don't call his cell phone to find out what time he's going to get home. I ve pretty pi ML Jennifer much cut myself off. I have tried to let him know how I feel, and he said that we need to keep the lines of communication open but I havent seen any changes. I've also stormed LOCK OMW trying to make spe-cial plans because he is never home, even when he's in town. What should I do? I still love him very much and want to spend the rest of my life with him. A reader Dear reader: Your relationship appears to be minimal, moving toward nonexistent. You mention nothing about what kind of financial support your common-law husband provides for you and the children. Perhaps you think that this isn't a concern at the moment, but more than likely it will be in the future. I suggest that you contact an attorney about your legal rights and move to clarify your partner's monetary obligations. Focus now on the logistics of your financial security and support for your children. If a reminder of his financial responsibility to the family doesn't get your partner's attention and refocus his energy on repairing the relationship, perhaps nothing else will. In this vein, you may wish to read the book "Till Divorce Do Us Part: A Practical Guide for Women in Troubled Marriages" by Beverly J. Grottkau and Eva Augustin Rumpf . Although you say that you want to spend the rest of your life with this guy, I believe that you have the strength to live without a man who humiliates you by not calling, not coming home and letting his mother make decisions for him. Jennifer Lock Oman Is 1 therapist In private practice. Write to Speak Up, The Des Moines Register newsroom, Box 957, Des Moines, la. 50304. Here-mall address Is Jlockomanaol.com

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