New PADEE Presidium


The 7th General Assembly of PADEE that took place from July 29-August 2nd concluded with the election of the new Board of Directors. Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas met with the new Presidium of PADEE and honored the outgoing president of the organization Connecticut State Representative Demetrios Giannaros, who served for eight years. The new PADEE Presidium is made up of President John Pantazopoulos (State of Victoria MP, Australia), 1st Vice-President Leonidas Raptakis (Rhode Island State Senator, USA), 2nd Vice-President Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (MEP, Germany), Nikos Papadopoulos (MP, Sweden), John Cannis (MP, Canada), Olga Kovitidi (MP, Crimea, Ukraine), Thomas Katsiantonis (New Hampshire State Representative, USA), Mike Keokas (Georgia State Representative, USA) and George Souris (New South Wales MP, Australia).
Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas in a meeting he had with the members of the newly elected and the outgoing PADEE Presidiums stressed, among others, that they should have a systematic cooperation with SAE.
On his part, Giannaros thanked the parliament president and underlined that “we struggle for Greece and Cyprus and the Greek ideals. A Greek flame is still burning inside us showing us the way toward what’s best for our culture, Greece, Cyprus and the Greek expatriates.” He also congratulated the new PADEE Presidium members and the new president and wished them success to their efforts.

Bandalism at Church Promotes Greek Festival Even More


Next weekend’s Greek festival will go on, despite recent vandalism at Holy Myrrh-bearers Orthodox Church in St. Cloud, MN.

According to the Rev. Nathan Kroll, parish priest, two church windows were smashed July 26. The vandalism spurred the congregation to promote the Greek Festival even more, he said in a news release.

The festival will run between 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 16 at the church, 601 Seventh Ave. S. The event will feature Greek music. dance and traditional Greek food.

(With information from St. Cloud Times)

Greek American Doctor Makes Free Healtcare Reality


George Maltezos, a mental health counselor, together with his longtime friend Dr. Charles Martinez, started an all volunteer free healthcare clinic for the uninsured needy in Chicago. Two longtime friends who grew up “without” on the streets of Chicago are making a difference.

“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know Charlie,” says George Maltezos.

His father, Louis Dimitri, arrived in Chicago from Agriani near Sparti, in 1912 at age 15.  He calls himself a Greek born in America who did not have the chance to be close to his community.  “The circumstances of my American mother’s religion denied me the opportunity to learn the Greek language, much to my regret,” he says.

Maltezos and Dr. Charles Martinez are both in their seventies, both retired and both working harder than ever. That is, in part, because this inseparable pair never forgot what it was like growing up in households that could not afford healthcare.

After building successful careers in healthcare, neither one wanted to hang it in retirement. Instead, they’ve opened a tiny community clinic in a working class neighborhood in Chicago. They treat patients in need, cajole specialists into donating services and badger the drug companies for low-cost prescriptions.

In their mission statement they write “Recognizing the overwhelming need for additional resources to serve the health care needs of the uninsured in the Chicago area, the OIP Community Clinic has been formed to provide a free out-patient primary medical and specialty care program. In addition to primary medical
care, the clinic services include referrals for dental care and assessment and evaluation for mental health, and alcohol and other drug additions and abuse treatments.”

And it doesn’t cost the folks who come to see them a dime. Thanks to George and Charlie, some four hundred people, who otherwise would likely go without any medical attention, are looked after.

For more information on the Old Irving Park Community Clinic, go to

The Letdown: A Quiet Phone


Boy oh boy, there’s nothing more crushing as an actor than a quiet phone. Not a call, not a message. Nothing. And believe me, I’ve checked. Actually it’s become a favorite pastime of mine.

When I wake up in the morning I take a little stretch and pad my way into the kitchen, heading for the coffee maker. Somewhere between pulling out the coffee bean grinder and the brown sugar though, I imagine I’ve forgotten something. Of course that something just happens to be in the little nook where the answering machine is. I stroll by, pretending not to look directly at the little button that blinks when there’s a message. If it’s red, I dive for the phone like I’m entering the water to save a drowning child, if it’s not I casually waltz back into the kitchen, pretending not to care.

There have been more than a few false alarms this past week. In my zeal to hear from my agent about the horror film I’ve answered more than one phone-call I was later sorry about. Like the one from the telemarketer who kept asking if I lived here? I figured it was pretty obvious that I did considering I’m the one who answered the phone, so I refused to give him the satisfaction and answer his question. He couldn’t continue with his schtick until I confirmed I was indeed the lady of the manor so we went on like that for quite a while – him asking me if I lived here and me refusing to confirm the obvious – until he finally gave up and hung up on me. If only he knew.

It’s always difficult not getting the part, especially when you’ve had a great audition and a great callback. Especially when you’ve tucked your sensibility far, far away and crawled across a carpet pretending to have one arm. Especially when you have, against all societal laws of normal human behavior, pretended to cry into your bloody palm and begged an imaginary monster that’s really an amped-up version of a cricket to spare your life. What can I say? I feel used.

I’ll try to get on with things and forget about it but that will only last until I see the movie. That’s the worst – seeing the actress who got your part. It’s like being cheated on and seeing the other woman for the first time. I don’t usually mind so much if I think the actress has done a great job but if she’s terrible I can’t seem to stop the insult machine; it pours out of me like water from a bucket filled with holes. “Look at her face! Look! She’s totally blinking when she’s supposed to be dead” “She couldn’t fake a death even if her life really did depend on it!” “Fat ankles.”

That, I’m afraid, is all part of the game. Last week I was on cloud nine kicking it with my callback posse and this week I’ll be eating a lot of Oreo’s to manage my pain. At least I still have a little bruise on my upper leg from slamming into a chair at the audition that will continue to remind me that sometimes, love hurts.

Constantine Maroulis Led the Way for “Idol” Rockers


In an interview in People magazine American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis looks back to his career and talks about his past and future plans. The Greek American has been making his mark on Broadway since appearing on the hit FOX show’s fourth season in 2005. He was recently nominated for a Tony for his role in the rock musical Rock of Ages and the actor-musician credits the reality competition for the chance it gave him.

“I was blessed – I was a finalist,” he says. “I probably wouldn’t be in this chair if I wouldn¹t have gone on the audition that day.” He stated in People.

There is something he’d do differently if he were able to appear on Idol again. “They had a hard time getting the support from artists and publishers to clear a lot of the material, so there were a lot of songs I wanted to do that I couldn’t do,” he says. “Stuff from U2, Aerosmith, anything Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi. That was the stuff I was really good at. If I could have done the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ kind of thing week after week, it would have been interesting to see how it would have worked out.”

The Greek American singer thinks his appearance helped future rockers that appeared on the show. “I definitely opened the door for people after me, like Chris Daughtry and David Cook and all those guys,” he says. “[Season 8 runner-up] Adam [Lambert]’s a good kid, I wish him all the best.”

Maroulis says he is using music to reacquaint himself with his Greek roots.

“We didn’t listen to a lot of traditional Greek music in my house the way a lot of my Greek friends do, but I enjoy it. There’s what we call Greek nights, which is basically a club night with my friends. They (his parents) play a lot more of the modern music from Greece along with the traditional stuff. There’s a lot bouzouki [a traditional Greek guitar] and a lot of fun,” he says. “I really embrace my culture more now than I ever did.”

Greek-American Family Falls Victim to the Real Estate Crisis


Victor Vangelakos, lives in a luxury condominium tower in Downtown Fort Myers, Fla. He never has to worry about the neighbors making too much noise because there are no neighbors.

Vangelakos, 45, his wife Cathy and their three children are the only residents in the 32-story Oasis I condo on the east edge of downtown Fort Myers.

The 45-year-old Weehawken, N.J., firefighter bought the condo from Miami-based The Related Group for $430,000 and closed on it in November. He planned to make it a vacation getaway and eventually his full-time residence when he retires in four years.

But prices have fallen hard since the real estate bubble burst in early 2006. Only a handful of those who put down deposits on the tower’s units actually closed on the deal. Those who did have swapped their Oasis I units for condos in Oasis II next door.

Vangelakos didn’t, because he was unable to convince his lender to agree to the swap, said Betsy Lu McCoy, vice president and associate corporate counsel for Related.

That leaves the Vangelakos family splitting their time between New Jersey and a creepy, surreal life in Oasis I.

They’re the only ones using a well-appointed clubhouse, but they can’t watch the big plasma TV.

“We haven’t found the remote controls,” Victor said.

Pause for a moment anywhere in the building during the day and the silence is deafening.

At night, Vangelakos said, they often hear people on the grounds or even inside the building itself. It’s not hard to break in one of the many entrances.

Once, late at night, “Somebody banged on our door,” Vanelakos said.

It wouldn’t have been hard to find the person in the otherwise darkened building.
“At night,” he said, “you can see our TV from the street.” Especially popular for intruders is the swimming pool, Vangelakos said. They heard people there one night “and the next day all our chairs were in the pool.”

His relationship with Related is testy at best. Once, he said, when management turned off his water to fix a leak in a pipe, “we came back 10 days later and the water was off but our TV was on.”

Now, after months of exchanging letters with Related about building maintenance and other issues, Vangelakos said he just wants out.

He hasn’t filed a lawsuit but his attorney, Fort Lauderdale-based John Ewing, said Related hasn’t delivered the marina, pro shop and fancy restaurants that were promised.

“They have the ability to buy him out,” Ewing said. “They can resolve this in a fair way.”
McCoy said it’s not that simple.

“His concerns have not fallen on deaf ears,” she said, but it isn’t Related’s fault he hasn’t been able to persuade his lender, JP Morgan Chase Bank, to transfer the mortgage to a unit in Oasis II.

“What he paid went to our lender, it didn’t come to us,” McCoy noted, so Related would have to pay off the mortgage before it got the unit back.

Besides, she said, the situation is the result of market forces beyond anyone’s control.

“We did not foresee, nor did anyone else foresee, the collapse of the real estate business and the concurrent collapse of the lending industry,” McCoy said. “They’re caught and we’re caught.”


Pan-Cretans in Alexandria


Members of the Pan-Cretan Union of America, who are holding their annual general meeting on a cruise from Crete, were welcomed to the Alexandria Patriarchate by the Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, Theodore II, who expressed his joy at their visit and briefed them on the patriarchate’s work in Africa. On his part, the president of the union, Emmanuel Velivasakis praised the patriarch’s personal career and his work, giving assurances of the union’s constant support. He also offered school equipment for the children of Africa on behalf of the members.


Jennifer Aniston to Star in “Pumas”


Jennifer Aniston is set to star in a new movie from CBS Films.  The stunner will be seen in romantic comedy “Pumas”, which will be directed by Wayne McClammy. The film’s plot centres on two 30-something women who make a habit of romancing younger men and take a French skiing vacation that challenges their romantic expectations.

Aniston will produce, along with Jon Gordon, Scott Z. Burns and Kristin Hahn. Chris Moore and Barry Littman are exec producing.

(ANI, photo by Wikipedia)

Theophanous calls it quits at next election


Theo Theophanous announced today that will retire from politics.
In a press conference held at midday the veteran State Labor MP said that he will not contest next State election, although having recently nominated for his Upper House Northern Metropolitan seat.
“After more than 20 years in public life, I have decided I will not seek preselection for another term,’’ he told reporters.
‘‘I will remain a backbencher and serve the electorate at a local level for the remainder of this term. I will not contest the next election,’’ he added.
On Friday, Mr Theophanous was officially discharged of a rape allegation in Melbourne Magistrates Court. Magistrate Peter Reardon had found little credibility in the case brought against Mr Theophanous by a woman alleging that she was raped by the Victorian MP in his Parliamentary office more than ten ago.
Mr Theophanous was charged with one count of rape on Christmas Eve last year and was forced to resign from his cabinet position.
In a short interview to Neos Kosmos English Edition last week Mr Theophanous said: “There’s no bigger test of a family than what we’ve gone through and I’m so proud of my family and of my wife and the way in which they handled themselves… the way in which they supported me through what has been a nightmare and I’m so pleased that the judge so through what was… the evidence showed a complete fabrication.”

John Stamos to co-star with Kevin Spacey in “Father of Invention”


John Stamos, soon to be on Broadway in Bye Bye Birdie, has been cast in the indie film, Father of Invention, according to a report in Variety.

Stamos will join Kevin Spacey, Virginia Madsen and Heather Graham in this project that has already begun filming in New Orleans. Stamos will play the man who has taken over Spacey’s business and eventually steals his big comeback idea.

Stamos begins performances in “Birdie” on September 10. He has also appeared on Broadway in the past in the revivals of Cabaret and Nine.