in the news/5
Volume 16/Issue 21

Petronius & Good Friends Bar Say
"Let 'em Eat Cake!"
for Volleyball New Orleans

At 5pm on Sun., Oct. 25, Good Friends Bar, 740 Dauphine St., and the Krewe of Petronius will sponsor the Second Annual Cake Walk to benefit the krewe and Volleyball New Orleans. Last year's event benefitting United Services for AIDS drew more than eighty cake entries including some from such local celebrities as Tom Wood, Miss Dixie and Margarita Bergen. Cakes ranged from rum cakes to cupcakes, to birthday cakes to Key Lime tarts.

Drawing a crowd of several hundred people, last year's Cake Walk raised more than $2,000 for the worthy causes. The krewe and Good Friends are striving to top that figure this year. If you're a baker and would like to donate to the cause, just bring your creation to Good Friends Bar before the 5pm starting time.

RAWHIDE 2010 Named
One Of The Top Ten Leather Bars
In The Nation

A recent issue of Out and About magazine ranked the top leather bars in the United States. New Orleans' own Rawhide was ranked number eight, beating out such notable leather bars as Chicago Eagle, Dallas Eagle, and Spike in New York City. In the article, the magazine says of Rawhide: "Its French Quarter location ensures an eclectic and sexy crowd." It goes on to say ".... Everyone who's anyone has come through here during Mardi Gras." Finally it states: ".... Pure decadence. This is, after all, New Orleans-skip the beignets and coffee one morning to take in the 9am crowd'll be pleasantly surprised."

The Rawhide has been a member of the Wood Enterprises family since 1984. It has gone through changes in its history from a dance club, to a country western bar, but its heart has always been leather. In 1995 the bar was remodeled to resemble the interior of a garage, and the theme became pure leather. Having become the staple bar in the New Orleans Leather Community, people from all over the world began making Rawhide one of their stops during their visit to town. Getting more than 200,000 hits per year on their web site,, also attests to the popularity of the bar.

Spiritfest 98

Camp Sister Spirit presents Spiritfest 98, Fri., Oct.30 through Sun., Nov. 1. The fun starts at 7pm Fri. and ends 2pm on Sun.

Women of all religious and spiritual beliefs are welcome to this Hallows weekend of spiritual celebration and renewal which includes prayer, crafts market, singing, nature walks, mask-making, meditation, networking, star-gazing, drawing, journaling, drumming, yoga, bonfires, healing, sacred drama and storytelling. Join in the peer-centered, we-create-it gathering.

Registration fees are $60-$90 depending on how early you register. To contact Spiritfest, call 601.838.6183, E-mail or write to Singing Heart Productions, 354 Bell Road, Byhalia, MS 38611.

Thracian Art At NOMA

The grandeur of a vanquished civilization is the focus of a new exhibition, Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians, Treasures from the Republic of Bulgaria, on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art from Oct. 31, 1998 to Jan. 3, 1999. This exhibition includes 250 sumptuous gold and silver treasures dating from the fifth millennium but only recently discovered in present-day Bulgaria. The exhibition is made possible in New Orleans in part by a generous grant from Production Supply Company, Inc.

Famed in antiquity as great poets and warriors, the Thracians had no alphabet of their own and left no written language by which to emerge from the shadows of the past. Given this strange fact, one may wonder how anything at all can be known about these ancient people. But a number of little known facts about these barbaric people who left their opulent metalworks veiled in the past for over two thousand years are available to pique one's curiosity.

In the second and first millennium B.C., the Thracians were one of a group of peoples including the Goth, Celts, Samaritans, Scythians, and Parthians whose ferocious invasions affected civilizations throughout Europe and Asia. Nomadic barbarians who occupied most of Europe and Asia in the first centuries A.D., the Thracians were vicious fighters and feared adversaries whose kings took part in the Trojan War and were immortalized in the Greek poet Homer's Iliad.

Herodotus (430-425 B.C.) the "father of history," described the Thracians as "the biggest and most numerous people in the world, next to the Indians" in his Histories.

Thrace contained numerous well-known gold and silver mines, and its history was closely allied to Greece and the arts of metal casting and finishing. These connections mark the production of embellished, sophisticated gold and silver objects with mythological subjects.

A Thracian king buried treasures throughout his territory during his lifetime. The famous Rogozen treasure, known as the find of the century when it was discovered in 1986, contains 165 vessels of silver and gold.

Thracian craftsmen created such decorative objects as horse trappings, jewelry and weapons for their kings and nobles to carry as symbols of their power. Gift-giving was the way to seal the friendship between the rulers of rival tribes.

Few people are familiar with these interesting facts about his artistic yet war-like people, although the Thracians and their vibrant culture were well-known in the ancient world.

Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians, Treasures from the Republic of Bulgaria is organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Trust for Museum Exhibitions. It is the first exhibition of artifacts from Bulgarian museums to be seen in the United States in the post-Communist era. A full-color catalog of the exhibition is available at the Museum.

For more information, call the Museum at 504.488.2631 or visit their Web site.

Miss America 1998 Storms Halls of Congress

Miss America 1998 and AIDS Action Fellow Kate Shindle worked the halls of the U.S. Capitol recently lobbying for reinvigorated HIV prevention in the face of increasing HIV infection rates and stagnant prevention efforts. Ms. Shindle made HIV prevention the platform of her service as Miss America and she continued this effort advocating for AIDS Action's Virtual Vaccine prevention plan. "Bringing my prevention campaign to the halls of Congress gives me a unique opportunity to fight for policies that stop HIV and save lives," said Ms. Shindle. "Meeting Washington decision-makers face to face is the best way to send the message that the only cure in sight is treating HIV prevention like the medical vaccine we desperately crave."

Ms. Shindle began her day on Capitol Hill with a press conference where she was joined by members of Congress and AIDS Action executive director Daniel Zingale. She then visited the Congressional office of Rep. John Porter (R-IL), had lunch with Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) and high-ranking Senate staff and visited Washington, D.C. AIDS service provider Food & Friends.

Ms. Shindle has been a leading national and international advocate for HIV prevention. Traveling 20,000 miles a month, she has brought her message before diverse audiences including the National Press Club, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and students across the country. She was the first Miss America to take her platform worldwide as a panelist and speaker at the 12th World AIDS Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also volunteered for community-based AIDS service organizations and raised more than $30,000 for youth/drug AIDS programs.

The Virtual Vaccine plan is the centerpiece of AIDS Action's campaign to ensure that prevention receives the same attention as the race to find a medical vaccine. Included in the plan are a twenty-five percent increase in funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; treatment on request to help stem the twin epidemics of substance abuse and AIDS; a national effort for better access to rapid HIV testing; creation of a Web site featuring anonymous E-mail with prevention counselors; condom ads on television programs rated "S" for sexual content; and, a national testing referral database.

Moms Can Increase Their Kids' Condom Use

Teenagers who get straight talk about safe sex from their moms are three times more likely to use a condom their first time, a study has found. "the bottom line is that parents can make a difference," said the study's author, Kim Miller, a sociologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study was published in the Oct. 1 issue of American Journal of Public Health. The CDC said the findings are significant because teens who use protection their first time are 20 times more likely to use condoms in the future.

The researchers interviewed 372 sexually active teens and their mothers from New York City, Montgomery, AL and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fathers were not interviewed. Of the 372 teenagers questioned, 122 had discussed safe sex with their moms before having sex, while 250 either never talked about condom use with their mothers or did so after having had sex. In the first group, 3.4 teens used a condom for every one who didn't-roughly three times the rate of condom use in the second group, where only 1.2 used a condom for every one who didn't. Moms talked about condoms with boys at an average age of 12.9 years; girls' talks came slightly later, at 13.5. The average age at which teens said they first had sex was 13.8.

AIDS Deaths Still Abating

The Department of Health and Human Services' National Center for Health Statistics' annual review of death records, released Oct. 7, shows a continued sharp decline in deaths resulting from AIDS in 1997. Compared to 1996, AIDS deaths in 1997 were down by 47%, dropping the disease from #8 to #14 on the list of causes of death. In the 25 - 44 years age group in particular, AIDS fell from being the leading cause of death in 1995 to #5 in 1997. The AIDS death rate of 5.9 per 100,000 people in 1997 was the lowest since similar data were first available in 1987, and about one-third what it was in the peak year 1995. The lower mortality statistics are attributed to the treatment advances of the last few years. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala celebrated the news, but emphasized that, "Our ultimate goal is to prevent the estimated 40,000 new HIV infections that occur each year." [NewsPlanet]

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