American Idol Judges
Rolling Stone

When young singers hoping for their big break aren’t covering Motown songs or plugging Coca-Cola on the stage of American Idol, the show’s star personalities are usually squabbling over petty slights in an attempt to fill air time. A lot of these seemingly pointless disagreements came care of Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, but it seems new judge Ellen DeGeneres is game to carry on the tradition. “Simon really is mean to people sometimes,” DeGeneres said in the next issue of Entertainment Weekly, out Friday. “If he’s rude, I’m going to let him know he’s rude.”

Gay Marriage Trial May Set Precedent

The national debate over same-sex marriage will take center stage in a California courtroom next week at a closely watched federal trial that could ultimately become the landmark case that determines whether gay Americans have a right to marry.

Barney Frank

Inclusion of provisions that would recognize gay families in a health care reform bill currently before Congress are in peril of being axed after Democratic leaders decided not to reconcile two versions of the bill.

The decision to move ahead with a single bill was made Tuesday night in a private meeting attended by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, The Hill reported.

NJ Senate Rejects Gay Marriage
The Star-Ledger

TRENTON -- The state Senate rejected a same-sex marriage bill today, a major victory for opponents who contend the measure would infringe on religious freedom and is not needed because the state already permits civil unions.

The 20-14 vote defeating the measure followed an hour and a half of public debate inside the packed Senate chamber. The nearly thousand supporters and opponents of the bill held rallies on the Statehouse steps.

The measure fell seven votes short of the 21 needed for passage.

Complete Story

Proposition 8 Trial On YouTube
Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO -- Next week's trial in San Francisco of a lawsuit challenging the initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California won't be televised live, but it will be videotaped for delayed Internet release on YouTube, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco ordered the video coverage, the first for a federal trial in California, over the objections of Proposition 8's sponsors. Their lawyer argued that allowing the proceedings to be viewed outside the courthouse would violate their right to a fair trial by intimidating their witnesses.

Fort Lauderdale Centennial Logo

Plans to Commemorate 100th Birthday to be Presented to City Commission

Fort Lauderdale – The City Commission has selected the logo that will be used to commemorate Fort Lauderdale’s 100th Anniversary in 2011.  Designed by S. Mark Graphics in conjunction with students from the Art Institute, the logo will serve as the City’s signature mark of the upcoming Centennial celebration.

In planning for this momentous historic milestone, the Centennial Celebration Committee has been gathering input from residents, businesses and local organizations.  The Centennial celebration will showcase Fort Lauderdale’s rich cultural heritage through a series of exciting events and educational programs that pay tribute to Fort Lauderdale’s past, present and future.

The Committee is in the process of finalizing their recommendations for a yearlong citywide celebration.  They plan to present their recommendations of events and activities to the City Commission by March, 2010.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the Centennial by sending an email with their ideas and suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To learn more about the Centennial Celebration, visit the City for Fort Lauderdale website at www.fortlauderdale.gov or call the Centennial Celebration Committee staff liaison, Shannon Vezina, at (954) 828-4743.

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