2009


 
   

Hanging out with Aaron in May trying to "plant" the Salisbury seed in this otherwise Penn State house

 

2009 saw an explosion on the social networking site Facebook. As a result, we have had many mini High School Reunions. It has helped to reconnect with a lot of great people that I haven't spoken to in almost 20 years in some cases. This picture is from May taken at the Philly Diner. Pictured are: Joe Avallone, Lynette Cook, Bob Holmes, Sherri Cicale &Me

 

Another get together with old high school friends. This time at the Tiki Bar in September. Pictured here is one of my closest friends Tuna Mitchell (who I went to college with also) and Chris Pino whom I had not seen in 15 years prior to this night. This was another example of how Facebook has brought us back together again.

 

This year I choose to do more as a person for social awearness. As a result, I was fortunate to begin a casual cyber friendship with Hayden Panettiere through Twitter. I started to actively support her cause "Save The Whales" through my Twitter, Facebook & this site. I am very active now and have her to thank for that & for a friendship that continues to grow.

Always one of the best days of my year...Christmas morning just hanging with the nephews Dylan, Griffin and Aaron. This is what life is all about. Doesn't get much better than this.

 

Sports History
..Philadelphia Phillies (MBL) . 93 -69

NL East Champs
National League Champs
Lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series 4 games to 2

..Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) ..44-27-0-11 3rd Place, Atlantic Division
Lost in Eastern Conference Quarter Finals
...
..Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) ..9-6-1 Lost Conference Championship (Cardinals) 32-25.
..Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) ..41-41 Lost First Round (Orlando, 2–4)...
..Philadelphia Wings (MLL) ..7-9 Missed Playoffs
..Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL Hockey) ..43-30-0-2 Lost In Quarterfinals
..Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football) .10-0-0 League Folded
..Penn State (College Football) 911-2 2nd Place Big Ten
Defeated LSU in the Capital One Bowl 19-17
..Salisbury University (my college) .. National Champions -
Field Hockey
(1986, 2003, '04, '05, '09)


..Conference Champions -
Baseball
Women's Cross Country
Men's Lacrosse
Men's Track & Field
Field Hockey

Women's Lacrosse
Softball
Volleyball


What Happened This Year?

January

3 - After over a week of intense air strikes, Israeli troops crossed the border into Gaza, launching a ground war against the militant Palestinian group, Hamas. More than 430 Palestinians and 4 Israelis have been killed since the fighting began Dec. 27, 2008

8 - Impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat, is recommended by an investigative committee of the Illinois House. The vote was unanimous and claims Blagojevich abused power.

9 - Former actor on TV's "Sopranos," Lillo Brancato Jr., is sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted burglary. He was involved in a 2005 shooting in New York City that left a police officer dead. He could be released in as few as 5 years, with 3 1/2 years time served.

10/11 - At least 46 Pakistani soldiers and militants at a paramilitary base were killed when hundreds of Taliban militants crossed the border of Pakistan.

15 - After allegedly striking a flock of geese, US Airways Flight 1549, en route from La Guardia Airport, New York City, to Charlotte, N.C., is forced to land in the Hudson River. All 150 passengers and 5 crew members survived. About half of the passengers on board were treated for hypothermia; the worst injury is a pair of broken legs. The plane is secured off the coast of Manhattan pending an investigation into the cause of the crash. (Jan. 18) The US Airways plane is removed from the Hudson river, and the flight recorder and the cockpit voice recorder are recovered.


February

1 - Johanna Sigurdardottir will lead an interim government until Aprilo elections. She's the first female to hold the position of prime minister in that country. Sigurdardottir is a member of Iceland's Social Democrats party; the previous prime minister is a more conservative member of the Independence Party.

1 - In a tightly fought race for the title of Superbowl 43 Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. Both teams held leads during the game; the Cardinals came back from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, only to lose in the final seconds to the Steelers. MVP nod goes to Steelers' player Santonio Holmes, who caught the winning touchdown.

7 - The worst wildfires in Australian history kill at least 181 people in the state of Victoria, injure more than a hundred, and destroy more than 900 houses. At least 50 people are still missing. At least one of the fires is suspected to be the work of arsonists. Australian officials criticize for failing to evacuate those in danger, according to The New York Times. There will be a government inquiry into the state's response to the fires.

9 - Acclaimed Yankees pitcher Alex Rodriguez has admits to using a performance-enhancing substance in the past. This confession follows a leaked report that Rodriguez tested positive for steroids during a 2003 survey. At the time, such drugs were illegal but Major League Baseball claimed there would be no penalties for participating in the survey.

10 - Nine people were killed in Oklahoma following a strong tornado that tore through the town of Lone Grove. Emergency workers prepare for the possibility of more casualties as they sift through the rubble left behind.

16 - Recent changes to Facebook's terms of use causes an uproar among consumer advocacy groups, including the blog Consumerist.com. The new terms stipulate that the social networking site owns the rights to all materials users post on their personal Websites. Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, states that users always retain the rights to their own content and that the site does not wish to change that.

16 - Japan's gross domestic product fell at a 12.7% annual rate in the last quarter of 2008, according to the country's economic and fiscal policy minister. Japan's economy relies heavily on automobile and electronics exports, the demand for which has fallen sharply around the world.

17 - President Obama has signed the $787 billion stimulus package into law. The president's hope is that the package will create 3.5 million jobs for Americans in the next two years. Most Republican lawmakers voice dissent over the package, claiming it contains too much "pork-barrel" spending and not enough tax cuts. Many economists disagree, saying even more spending and fewer tax cuts are the only way to create jobs and lead the U.S. out of the recession

27 - In front of a crowd of Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, President Obama announced his intention to withdraw most American troops out of Iraq by August 31, 2010. As many as 50,000 troops will remain there for smaller missions and to train Iraqi soldiers. Camp Lejeune is the largest marine camp on the East Coast, and 8,000 troops there will soon be shipped to Afghanistan.

March

2 - In a letter submitted by federal prosecutors, the Central Intelligence Agency is accused of destroying 92 tapes recording harsh interrogation proceedings with suspected members of the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., former head of the agency's clandestine service, ordered the tapes destroyed.

6 - Unemployment in the U.S., which has been steadily growing for several months, reaches 8.1% in February 2009. This is the highest rate since 1983, and an additional .5% over January. There were 651,000 reported jobs lost last month, slightly down from 655,000 in January.

8 - A suicide bomber kills 28 people and injurs 57 when his motorcycle, laden with explosives, blows up near a Police Academy in Baghdad, Iraq. Five of the dead are police officers. (March 10): Another 33 people are killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad, this time aimed at a group of Iraqi Army officers. The blast injurs 46 others.

18 - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signs legislation to repeal the death penalty in his state. Lethal injection will be replaced with life in prison without parole. New Mexico is the second state to ban the death penalty since 1976, when the United States Supreme Court reinstated it.

27 - At least 60 people are reported dead after a dam in Jakarta, Indonesia breaks due to heavy rains. Dozens are still missing, and many more are expected to be found dead as rescue efforts continue. The breach occurrs at approximately 2 A.M., while most residents of the city were asleep.

30 - The U.S. will give the government of Afghanistan $40 million to facilitate elections in August, announces Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The money provided by the U.S. government will help supply the country with ballot boxes and pay ballot counters.

April

1 - Sweden becomes the fifth European country to legalize same-sex marriage. The law, passed by Parliament, will go into effect May 1. The other countries with the same rights are The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Spain.

2 - At the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London, England, world leaders commit a total of $1.1 trillion to help stimulate economies of developing countries, encourage world trade, and more strictly regulate financial firms.

3 - At least 14 people, including the gunman, are dead and more are injured after a man opens fire at an immigration services building in Binghamton, N.Y. He later killed himself. At one point, two people were taken from the building in plastic handcuffs, but it is unknown whether they are under arrest. About 40 people were trapped inside the building for several hours. (Apr. 4): The gunman, identified as Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong, 41, was recently laid off from his job, and living on unemployment benefits.

4 - North Korea launches a rocket in defiance of world leaders and resolutions from the United States, China, and the U.N. North Korea claimed the rocket launch was an effort to shoot a satellite into space, though most assume it was actually an effort to demonstrate the country's capability to deploy long-rancge missiles.

8 - For the first time, an American vessel is hijacked by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa. Pirates take the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, hostage. The ship, the Maersk Alabama, was carrying food and other aid products for the World Food Program. (Apr. 12): U.S. Navy SEAL snipers, positioned on the fantail of the destroyer Bainbridge, kill three pirates and free Capt. Richard Phillips, ending the five-day ordeal in the Indian Ocean.

26 - The swine flu has killed as many as 103 people in Mexico, most likely the epicenter of the worldwide outbreak. Government officials have outlawed gatherings of large groups of people in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Schools, churches, and stadiums have closed indefinitely. (Apr. 29): At least 150 in Mexico are dead from the swine flu. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, the health minister of France has requested a suspension of all flights from the European Union to Mexico. While the World Health Organization maintains that flight bans will not effectively stop the disease from mushrooming, it raises its pandemic alert to 5, the second-highest level. This action indicates that the virus is a cause for concern and that all nations should prepare for a flu pandemic.

29 - The U.S. economy contracted an additional 6.1% in the first quarter of the year. Despite predictions that the economy will continue to fall in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve sees signs that overall, the economy is becoming more stable and will start to level out by the end of the year.

May

1 - For the first time in 341 years, a woman is appointed as poet laureate of the United Kingdom. Carol Ann Duffy, 53, will take over the post from current poet laureate Andrew Motion. Though the position was traditionally appointed for life, Motion accepted a 10-year term in 1999.

7 - U.S. military officials admit that some of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan were caused by American bombs. Afghan officials claim 147 civilians in two villages are dead due to air raids by the U.S. military, but American officials say that amount is exaggerated.

8 - The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 539,000 jobs were lost in April 2009, and unemployment hit 8.9%. Though both numbers are dreadfully high, they are slightly better than expected, leading experts to believe that the recession is nearing its end.

11 - Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist arrested in Iran in January, is released from prison. She was arrested on charges of spying for Washington and initially sentenced to eight years in prison, but her sentence was reduced to a two-year suspended sentence. She is allowed to leave Iran immediately, if she desires

19 - Scientists unveil the fossilized remains of a 47-million-year-old primate, allegedly the ancestor of humans, as well as other modern primates. Nicknamed "Ida" after a scientist's daughter, the fossil is the first discovery of its kind—it is almost completely intact. The fossil was discovered in Germany in 1983, but was kept in private collections and only recently analyzed by scientists. "Lucy," the oldest and best-preserved skeleton of a hominid (two-footed, humanlike primate) is only 3.2 million years old

25 - Against international warnings, North Korea announces it has conducted its second nuclear test, claiming they are boosting self-defense capabilities. The country draws criticism from nations around world. North Korea conducted its first nuclear test on October 9, 2006.

31 - George Tiller, a doctor famous for being one of of a few physicians in the U.S. who performs late-term abortions, is killed while in his Kansas church. He is shot while handing out bulletins in the church foyer. A suspect is arrested soon after the shooting and will be charged with murder, say police.

June

8 - Two American journalists are found guilty of "illegal entry" and sentenced to 12 years in a labor prison in North Korea. Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who were employed by Current TV, were arrested in March. They were writing a story on North Korean refugees.

10 - A shooting at the entrance of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. leaves security guard Stephen T. Johns dead and the alleged shooter critically injured. The alleged gunman is James W. von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist.

14 - The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Orlando Magic 99–86, winning their 15th N.B.A. championship title. Lakers star Kobe Bryant takes home the M.V.P. trophy after scoring 30 points in the winning game.

22 - At least nine people are killed and 75 others wounded in a crash involving two subway trains in the Washington, D.C. Metro public transportation system. This is the deadliest crash in Metro history. One train reportedly rear-ended a stopped train, both on the subway's Red Line. Both mechanical failure and driver error are among the issues being investigated. The driver of the moving train is among those killed.

28 - Honduran president Manuel Zelaya is ousted by a military coup. Army soldiers stormed the presidential palace Sunday morning, waking the president, and putting him on a plane to Costa Rica. President Zelaya had faced wide-scale criticism recently for attempting to extend presidential term limits

29 - In a surprising trip to the Confederations Cup final, the United States men's soccer team loses 3–2 to five-time World Cup champion Brazil. The U.S. team handed top-ranked Spain a shocking upset the previous week. This was the first trip to a FIFA tournament final for the United States.

30 - As a signal of the United States' diminishing role in Iraq, and in compliance with the status of forces agreement between the U.S. and Iraq, U.S. troops completed their withdrawal from Iraqi cities, including Baghdad, and transferred the responsibility of securing the cities to Iraqi troops. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki names June 30 "National Sovereignty Day" and declares a public holiday.

July

3 - Russia will open its airspace for the United States military to use in order to fight the war in Afghanistan. President Obama will visit Russia for the first time during his presidency on July 6 and 7 to make the announcement and to meet with Russian president Dmitri A. Medvedev on nuclear arms and missile defense

3 - Sarah Palin, the first-term Republican governor of Alaska and former vice-presidential candidate, announces her resignation. The move shocks politicians from both parties. Palin cites a desire to spend more time with her family and a lack of interest in running for reelection in 2010. She will relinquish control to Lt. Gov, Sean Parnell on July 26.

6 - Rioting in Urumqi, China between two ethnic groups—Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese—kills at least 156 people. Riot police lock down the Uighur portion of the city to stop the protests.

23 - After a two-year federal investigation, 44 people, including three New Jersey mayors, five rabbis, and two state assemblyman, are arrested on charges of corruption and international money-laundering. The investigation was aided by the cooperation of Solomon Dwek, a N.J. resident and police informant. Dwek was arrested in 2006 on charges of bank fraud.

29 - Major technology companies Microsoft and Yahoo make a deal to collaborate on Internet search and advertising, in the hopes of more effectively competing with their biggest rival, Google.

August

4 - The government of North Korea pardons two imprisoned American journalists after former President Bill Clinton visits the country and its president, Kim Jong-il. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested in March and sentenced in June to 12 years in prison for "illegal entry" into the country. Clinton agreed in late July to travel to North Korea on a humanitarian mission to save the two women.

19 - Two massive bomb attacks kill at least 95 and wounds over 600 in Baghdad, Iraq. Though violence has been escalating in recent weeks, this is the worst attack in the region since the U.S. military ceded control of the security of the country back to its government, on June 30.

19 - In 2004, the CIA hired contract killers from the controversial organization Blackwater USA to assassinate top jihadist members of al Qaeda. The hirings were part of a top secret program of planning, training, and surveillance, and cost the U.S. agency millions of dollars. No terrorists were captured or killed as a result of this program.

20 - Democratic senator Ted Kennedy, terminally ill with brain cancer, requests a change to Massachusetts law to allow Governor Deval Patrick to appoint a temporary replacement upon Kennedy's death, until the special election can be held. Kennedy has been a long-time supporter of health care reform, which is currently under debate in Congress, and understands the importance of another democratic vote in favor of the overhaul. (Aug. 25): Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, a fixture in the Senate for 46 years, dies of brain cancer at the age of 77. Kennedy was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts; he filled the vacated seat of his brother, then-president John F. Kennedy.

28 - "King of Pop" Michael Jackson's June 25 death is ruled a Homicide by drug overdose. Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, gave him the powerful anesthetic propofol and the sedative lorazepam on the day of his death.

September

2 - About 60 people die when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hits the island of Java, which is the most populous area of the country.

15 - The House of Representatives votes 240–179 to officially rebuke outspoken Republican Representative Joe Wilson (South Carolina) for yelling, "You lie!" at President Obama during his speech on health care.

18 - A vaccine for the 2009 H1N1 virus (also known as swine flu) will be available ahead of schedule, in early October. The vaccine will only be available in nosespray form, which is not considered safe for pregnant women, people over 50, or those with asthma, heart disease, or other serious health problems. However, an injectable form of the vaccine will be available soon after, though a release date has not been given.

24 - For the first time, scientists have created a vaccine that seems to reduce the risk of contracting the AIDS virus. Scientists combined two unsuccessful vaccines to create a new version, given to 16,000 volunteers in Thailand. Those given the vaccine during the study reduced their risk of contracting HIV by more than 31 percent. The strain of the virus used in the vaccine is one commonly found in that country. Scientists are unsure whether they can recreate the results with a different strain.

25 - The United States, Britain, and France warn Iran about a secret nuclear enrichment plant being built in that country. The allies want to impose international inspections on Iran in order to ensure they aren't building illegal weapons.

30 - A 7.6-magnitude earthquake hits the island of Sumatra, leaving more than 700 people dead and thousands trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in the city of Padang.

October

1 - President Obama signs an executive order to ban texting while driving for Federal workers. The government also plans to ban texting while driving for bus drivers and truckers who travel across state lines.

1 - A fossil skeleton of the species Ardipithecus ramidus, has been discovered. Nicknamed "Ardi," its age is estimated at 4.4 million years, making it older than Lucy (the next-oldest and best-preserved skeleton of a hominid, and 3.2 million years old) and the oldest specimen from the human branch of the primate group categorization. Ardi, an adult female, was four-feet tall, 120 pounds, and walked upright on two legs. Fragments of the specimen were first discovered in 1992; scientists were waiting for more pieces of the skeleton before conducting the necessary research and publishing their findings.

2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil wins the bid for the 2016 Olympics and will be the first South American city to host the Games. Rio beat Chicago, Ill., for which President Obama had supported in an address to the International Olympic Committee, Tokyo, and Madrid.

14 - Results of the nation's most important math test for students show that achievement has not improved in the eight years since President Bush passed the No Child Left Behind law, which required 100% of students to show proficiency in math and reading by 2014. Student gains are actually slower since the program began; 39% of fourth graders and 34% of eighth graders test at proficiency this year.

15 - The Obama administration reports that businesses who have received stimulus money from the federal government have created or saved over 30,000 jobs so far. Only $2.2 billion of the $16 billion in stimulus contracts awarded by the government have been spent thus far. President Obama's goal is to save or create 3.5 million jobs over two years.

16 - Three days after the world watched a giant balloon fly through the air as a tearful family expressed fears that their 6-year-old boy could be inside, authorities announced what millions suspected: The whole thing was staged.

24 - President Obama declares the outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus, also called swine flu, a national emergency. This step will allow hospitals and local governments execute disaster preparation plans and set up alternative treatment locations if they should face a rapid influx of patients sick with the disease.

28 - The Taliban, retaliating against an offensive by the Pakistan army in late October, launched a series of terrorist attacks that killed at least 300 people in Peshawar, Islamabad, and Lahore. The attack coincided with a visit to Pakistan by U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

November

4 - The New York Yankees win their 27th World Series title, and their first since 2000, against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees lead the Phillies three games to two when they clinched the series with a score of 7–3. Yankees' left fielder, Hideki Matsui, wins the Most Valuable Player award. The 2009 season was the Yankees first in their new stadium.

9 - Three Americans arrested while hiking in Iran over the summer are accused of spying by Iranian officials. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rebukes the accusation and calls for Iranians to release them.

10 - John Allen Muhammad, known as the D.C. sniper who killed 10 people in shooting spree in the nation's capital in 2002, is executed in a Virginia prison.

13 - Scientists find water on the moon during NASA's Lcross satellite. The Lcross mission, the goal of which was to look for water, was comprised of two parts: a satellite crash into a crater near the moon's south pole, and a spacecraft that measured the findings of that crash. At least 26 gallons of water were found. Scientists have long suspected the presence of water on the moon, but these findings demonstrate the possibility of sustainable human life there.

28 - A terrorist bomb planted on train tracks in Russia derails the train and kills at least 25, wounding many others.

December

4 - An Italian jury convicts Amanda Knox, an American student, of murdering her former roommate, English student Meredith Kercher, in 2007. Knox and Kercher were exchange students in Italy at the time. Knox's then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted. They received prison sentences of 26 and 25 years, respectively. The trial was widely followed in Italy and around the world; neither defendant has any history of violence and there was no apparent motive. The prosecution in the case accused Knox, Sollecito, and Rudy Gued, previously convicted in the murder, of participating in a sexual game with the victim, which ended in her death.

8 - A series of car bombs, said to be part of a coordinated attack, destroy government buildings in Baghdad. At least 121 people are dead and 400 wounded. The bombs were reportedly set to hinder government function; the area has seen an increase in violence since the date of the forthcoming national election was set.

15 - President Obama orders the federal government to take over an Illinois prison for the transfer of prisoners from Guanténamo Bay, Cuba. This step is a large part of Obama's plan to shut down the infamous prison facility. Thomson Correctional Center, in northwestern part of the state, is a maximum-security prison, though currently empty. Closing Guanténamo Bay was one of Obama's campaign and inaugural promises, though the act has proved more difficult than anticipated.

16 - European regulators drop their antitrust case against U.S. software maker Microsoft after over a decade of legal battling. The agreement forces Microsoft to offer consumers 11 different Web browser options that will compete with the company's browser, Internet Explorer. Microsoft has paid over €1.67 billion in fines and penalties over the issue.

18 - President Obama announces that the leaders of five nations, including the United States, have reached an agreement on a deal to combat global warming. Obama and the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa form an accord that will set up a system for monitoring pollution reduction, require richer nations to give billions of dollars to poorer nations more greatly affected by climate change, and a goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2050.

24 - After months of drafts, debate, and revisions, the U.S. Senate passes a health-care reform bill with a partisan vote of 60–39. The bill guarantees access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans, and formulates a plan for reducing health-care costs. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in November, with a vote of 220–215; only one Republican voted for the Democrat-created bill. The two versions of the bill must be reconciled before any law can be passed, however.