Debbie Matenopoulos is Selling her “Hollywood Castle”

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Greek American TV personality, Debbie Matenopoulos, and music executive of Lionsgate Entertainment, Jay Faires are calling it quits. They have decided to get a divorce, and have re-listed their Norman-style castle that was built in the 1920s by L. Milton Wolf (the guy who actually built the Hollywood landmark sign)

The 5,485-square-foot castle sits on 3.3 acres, and includes a two-bedroom guest house, heart-shaped black-bottom pool, and eight bedrooms. The main castle offers hand painted coffered ceilings, linen fold paneling, carved & stenciled beams, gabled windows and thick plaster walls.

It’s referred to as the “Wolf’s Lair”.  Wolf reportedly had a secret apartment under the gatehouse to entertain his lady friends. Located in Los Angeles’ Beachwood Canyon. It is listed for $4,695,000.

Senator Nick Xenophon argues that the SCIENTOLOGY church is not above the law

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South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said he had been contacted by a number of former Scientologists, after he questioned the organisation’s tax exempt status in a recent television interview. The letters from former members that Xenophon introduced in Parliament on Tuesday night included allegations of torture and the horrible tale of one man who lost two children to what he claims are Scientology-related accidents.

The victims’ statements have been referred to police by Senator Xenophon, who argued it was now time for Federal Parliament to delve into the church and re-evaluate its tax-exemption status

In 1983 the Australian High court ruled that Scientology was religion, “…regardless of whether the members are gullible or misled or whether the practices of Scientology are harmful or objectionable.” It found that a religion didn’t cease to be a religion just because the leaders had ulterior motives like power or commerce. “Charlatanism,” it said, “is a necessary price of religious freedom.”

“Religious freedom did not mean the Catholic or Anglican churches were not held accountable for crimes and abuses committed by their priests, nuns and officials, albeit belatedly,” Xenophon told the Senate. “In Australia there are no limits on what you can believe but there are limits on how you can behave. It’s called the law, and no one is above it.”

Senator Xenophon’s chief of staff, Rohan Wenn, travelled to Sydney yesterday to brief a senior police officer in the organised crime division on allegations made by former church members and tabled in Parliament this week.

”They are taking the matter very seriously,” Mr Wenn said.

Mr Wenn has also offered to forward details of other former Scientologists to the police.

The church responded that the allegations are from “disgruntled former members who use hate speech”.

Margaret Thaler Singer is a clinical psychologist and during her career has interviewed more than 3,000 former members of cult organizations. In her book “Cults in our Midst” she quotes: “According to documents later recovered from Scientology files at New York headquarters, “Operation Freak-Out” was designed to “get P.C. [Paulette Cooper] incarcerated in a mental institution or jail or at least hit her so hard that she drops her attacks.” Among other plans for this campaign were bomb-threat calls to an Arab consulate in New York City by a member of Scientology who had a voice like Cooper’s and written bomb threats written on personal stationery stolen from her with her fingerprints on it. (p.225)

Sources: News.com.au, defamer.com.au, smh.com.au, abc.net.au, theaustralian.com.au,“Cults in our Midst”-Singer, Margaret Thaler ISBN 0-7879-6741-6

American College of Greece Launches U.S. Friendship Tour

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The American College of Greece launched its first U.S. Friendship Tour with a reception in Boston, which attracted dozens of leaders in academia, philanthropy and business. The reception was held on Monday, November 16, at the Boston Museum of Science.
This was the first of several U.S. Friendship Tour events that will take place in major cities around the United States. Already, planning is under way for events in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago. They are intended as an introduction of the 134-year-old institution through presentations and personal contact with President David G. Horner and other top administrators.
The Consul General of Greece in Boston, Konstantinos Orfanides, was present at the event.
“The event at the Boston Museum of Science was a wonderful opportunity to introduce DEREE – The American College of Greece to a number of extraordinarily accomplished leaders from the worlds of academia, philanthropy and business,” President Horner said. “It shows the deep interest in quality higher education that exists in the United States, especially in a global center of higher education such as Boston. I am also encouraged by the interest the Greek American community is showing in DEREE – ACG, which is a strong bridge of friendship between Greece and the United States. It is my hope that our guests gained a new appreciation for an institution that has been a pioneer of American education in a historic and vital part of the world for the past 134 years.”
The U.S. Friendship Tour comes at a moment when the College enters a promising new era in its history. Since taking over as president in July 2008, President Horner, a native of Massachusetts, has defined an exciting new vision and mission for the historic institution, which was founded in 1875 by women congregational missionaries from Boston. One of the new strategy’s key elements is to raise the College’s profile in the United States.
Already, more than one thousand Americans have completed part or all of their undergraduate studies at the College, while dozens of academics from the United States are members of the College’s faculty.
DEREE – The American College of Greece is an independent, non-profit, co-educational institution founded in 1875. It offers undergraduate studies in 19 disciplines in business and the liberal arts, as well as five graduate programs. New programs are continuously introduced, in order to satisfy contemporary educational demands. ACG has approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from Greece, the U.S. and dozens of other countries. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the oldest and most prestigious accrediting body in the United States.

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC) Open Forum

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The Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC) is holding an open forum on Monday 23rd November 2009 at: Level 2, Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne & Victoria Building, 470 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, Melbourne, 3068, VIC from 7 pm to 10 pm.
Entrance is FREE, and the whole Greek community is invited, as there will be special guests speakers (Prof. Joy Damousi, Head of Historical Studies, Melbourne University) as well as AMAC speakers describing AMAC’s recent activity in the preservation of Macedonian history and current Macedonian issues.
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.macedonian.com.au

“The Cove” by Louie Psihoyos Continues in 2009 Oscar® Race

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 82nd Academy Awards®. Eighty-nine pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:

* “The Beaches of Agnes,” Agnès Varda, director (Cine-Tamaris)
* “Burma VJ,” Anders Østergaard, director (Magic Hour Films)
* “The Cove,” Louie Psihoyos, director (Oceanic Preservation Society)
* “Every Little Step,” James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, directors (Endgame Entertainment)
* “Facing Ali,” Pete McCormack, director (Network Films Inc.)
* “Food, Inc.,” Robert Kenner, director (Robert Kenner Films)
* “Garbage Dreams,” Mai Iskander, director (Iskander Films, Inc.)
* “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders,” Mark N. Hopkins, director (Red Floor Pictures LLC)
* “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, directors (Kovno Communications)
* “Mugabe and the White African,” Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors (Arturi Films Limited)
* “Sergio,” Greg Barker, director (Passion Pictures and Silverbridge Productions)
* “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors (Freedom Song Productions)
* “Under Our Skin,” Andy Abrahams Wilson, director (Open Eye Pictures)
* “Valentino The Last Emperor,” Matt Tyrnauer, director (Acolyte Films)
* “Which Way Home,” Rebecca Cammisa, director (Mr. Mudd)

The Documentary Branch Screening Committee viewed all the eligible documentaries for the preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles on the shortlist.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Notis Sfakianakis Concert in Vegas Cancelled

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It has been known that the Notis Sfakianakis Concert in Las Vegas has been cancelled. The event was planned to take place at Rio on the 28th of November.

On the event’s facebook group fans wrote that the event was cancelled  because of not enough ticket sales and Noti would have to stay an extra week in North America while he is having a touch of bronchitis.

Other fans are planning to relocate the party to OPA Restaurant in Vegas. Earlier this year, Mihalis Xatzigiannis, another Greek performer had canceled his Los Angeles show.

Spotlight: Greeks in Egypt

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Photo Credit: Rachel Portele

Greeks have been living in Egypt since the ancient times. Herodotus, who visited Egypt in the 5th century BCE, wrote that the Greeks were the first foreigners that ever lived in Egypt. The two main Greek centers in Egypt is Cairo and Alexandria.

In Cairo, the Greek community was founded in 1856, with the community based in three main neighbourhoods: Tzouonia, Haret el Roum (Street of the Greeks), and in Hamzaoui. The patriarchate was based in Haret el Roum, near the church of Saint Marcus. The monastery of Saint George, in Old Cairo still survives. Within its walls there is a Greek hospital, a school and housing for the elderly, and poor.

The Greek community of Alexandria was founded in 1843. In 1907 the official census showed 62,973 Greeks living in Egypt. By 1940 Greeks were numbered at about 250,000. The Greek community in Alexandria lived around the Church and monastery of Agios Savvas.Today there are less than 2000 Greeks in the city.

The Nasser regime was a major disaster for the Greek diaspora which afterwards has dwindled from many thousands to a handful. The dangerous situation in the Middle East has also deteriorated the conditions for the Greeks that stayed back in Egypt.

It is estimated that between 1957 – 1962 almost 70% of the Egyptiot Greeks have left the country.
Recently Egypt has been the centre of major Greek investments in banking, tourism, paper and oil industry and many others.

(WIth information from Wikipedia)

Winner of Pontiac Silverdome auction revealed: Andreas Apostolopoulos of Triple Properties Inc.

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Greek-born Toronto-area businessman Andreas Apostolopoulos was the winning bidder in Monday’s final cry auction for the Pontiac Silverdome, according to the Oakland Press.
Apostolopoulos, of Triple Properties Inc., agreed to pay $583,000 for the stadium, built by the city in 1975 for $55.7 million.
He told the newspaper he’d be visiting Pontiac soon to see his new property and introduce himself to residents.
“We want to have sporting events there,” Apostolopoulos said. “But first we’re concerned about finalizing the paperwork.”
Apostolopoulos also said he’d like the Silverdome to host music concerts, as it has in the past.
Pontiac Emergency Financial Manager Fred Leeb said on Monday that Triple Properties Inc. would try to bring a Major League Soccer team to the region, with the Silverdome serving as home field.
A judge yesterday temporarily blocked the sale after Bloomfield Hills attorney H. Wallace Parker filed an injunction claiming he signed a $17 million purchase agreement in August 2008 for the stadium that is still valid.
(source: m live)

Mike Zambidis returns to Australia for his next big fight on the 20th of November!

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Mike Zambidis departed from Greece on Sunday the 15th of November, for Melbourne. The Greek Kick Boxing Champion, will face the 23 years old Dzhabar Askerov on the 20th of November, for the “War of the Worlds” event.

Dzhabar Askerov, also called “Genghis Khan”, has K-1 experience and also reached the semi-finals of Contender Asia. The fight is expected to be a war, since both athletes have very offensive and spectacular style.

Iron Mike will be accompanied on his long trip by Vangelis Apostolou (assistant of the coach George Mallios), by his gymnast Alexandros Papadionisiou, his Manager Tonia Fouseki and some of his loyal fans.

The venue is almost a sold out and the Greek community, once again, is expecting Zambidis with a lot of anticipation excitement.

Iron Mike has a record of 140 wins with 84 knock outs in 157 fights and his titles throughout his career include:
1996 – Greek Boxing Champion
1997 – I.S.K.A. Balkan Champion
1998 – World PROFI Europe Champion
2000 – WOKA World Champion
2002 – King of the Ring, Champion ‘thaibox tournament’ Italy
2002 – K-1 World Max Oceania Champion
2003 – Kings of the Ring Champion, Italy
2004 – A1 World Combat Cup Champion
2005 – King of the Ring, Champion, Sydney
2005 – WKBF Super-welterweight Champion
2006 – Kings of the Ring European Champion
2008 – Κings of the Ring European Champion

George Houvardas can’t escape Carbo fans

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Fans of handsome Greek George Houvardas will have the chance to watch him again in the final episode of “Packed to the Rafters” for this season, tonight on Channel 7. Playing the popular Nick “Carbo” Karantonis, neighbour and mate to the Rafter family, he has won the hearts of the female population including his co-star’s and mate’s Jessica’s Marais.

Although this is his first role out of college, he is already being recognized wherever he goes, even in disguise (he’s grown a beard and he wears sunglasses), whether walking his dog Calypso or just jogging along Balmoral Beach.

Even more so at his family’s restaurant PITO at McMahon’s Point , where his brothers Steven & Anthony–to whom he has incredible resemblance- are often mistaken for him. So, there’s plenty of choice for the girls who he says “end up telling me I haven’t got time for them”, due to his work commitments.

Houvardas lives with his parents who run two restaurants and a function centre in Sydney and describes his family as “natural entertainers’ and “pretty outgoing”. “There’s never a dull moment in a greek family- it’s about good food, good wine, good music” he says. “I’m thinking of moving out this year. I want to live near the beach,” the packed to the Rafters star says. “Mum just stared at me when I told her. She looked shocked. It keeps you grounded being at home still, but I need my space”.

As fortunate as George has been in being cast as “Carbo” in the successful family drama, he says he wants diverse roles and has already appeared in the SBS series East West 101, as a villain.

George , 27, grew up in Sydney and attended Belmore High. He now lives at home in Longueville with his mum Annette (Anastasia), a teacher and dad Michael, an accountant. He ‘s been working part –time since he was 13 ,was a Super Youth League goalkeeper till he was 16. When he left school he worked in construction and began a building diploma at TAFE. At age 24, he took a one- year acting course at the Actors College of Theatre and Television and later another 12-monthe intensive course at Screenwise. He was then spotted by a casting agency for Rafters. It was his very first audition and he got the part. “I’m the least experienced of the cast, so I feel extremely privileged and lucky to be working with such an amazing and talented group of people.” He adds

““I’m pinching myself all the time. Anything is possible. You’ve just got to keep focus and go for it”.

Sources: mosman-daily.whereilive.com.au, heraldsun.com.au, au.tv.yahoo.com