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Olympia Dukakis to be honored at L.A. Greek Film Festival May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will honor Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. journalist Yani Begakis with the Honorary Orpheus Award during the four-day event, which begins June 14 at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Udayan Prasad’s “Opa!” a comedy starring Matthew Modine, Agni Tsagaridou and Richard Griffiths, is set to open the festival, which will highlight a total of 24 feature films and shorts.

The event will wrap June 17 at the Writers Guild Theatre with a screening of Kimon Tsakiris’ “Sugartown: The Bridegrooms” and the presentation of the first Orpheus Awards for best dramatic feature, documentary, short film, direction and audience choice at the closing-night ceremony hosted by E!’s Debbie Matenopoulos.

Related Links > http://www.lagreekfilmfestival.org


Boise’s 26th annual Greek Food Festival May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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What are some of the foods featured at Boise’s 26th annual Greek Food Festival? Souvlaki, pastitsio and fasolia yahni.

For those not up on jeopardy or Greek menu items, here’s your cheat sheet. Entrees include souvlaki (marinated pork on a stick with Greek style rice), pastitsio (the word means “hodgepodge” but the food means spaghetti and cheese with meat and bechamel cream sauce), fasolia yahni (cooked green beans in an herb tomato sauce), spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pie), and gyros (a pita bread sandwich).

You can also pick up something to snack on like feta cheese and olives or dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with spiced meat and rice) or delicious baklava, melomakarona and kourabiethes. And, don’t mind the tongue twisting when you attempt to order. It’s all for a good cause. The annual fundraiser for Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church also features Greek dancing and music, as well as tours of the church.

11 a.m.-9 p.m., $1 suggested entry fee, menu items purchased a la carte, take out is available. Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 2618 W. Bannock St., 208-345-6147, www.serfes.org.

Opa! Tempt taste buds at Des Moines’s Greek Food Fair May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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New flavors are always welcome at the Greek Food Fair, always held the first weekend in June at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Des Moines.

Baklava ice cream sundaes, vanilla ice cream topped with crumbled baklava pastries and honey, are on the list with other traditional fare Saturday and Sunday on the church grounds at 35th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. The sundaes, a recent addition to the fair’s menu, have become wildly popular, said Kathy Beauchamp, the event’s chair.

Now in its 29th year, the Greek Food Fair attracts up to 5,000 people over two days, Beauchamp said. Father Basil Hickman, the church’s pastor, said that even though he’s relatively new to the parish, he’s not surprised by the event’s enduring success.

Traditional and popular food items offered include loukaniko Greek sausage, moussaka, souvlaki, keftedes Greek meatballs with rice, and a Greek salad with feta cheese and olives.

The dinner price is $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Call the church at (515) 277-0780 for advance ticket outlets. Once again, there will also be booths selling gyros, pastries, Greek coffees and, of course, those baklava ice cream sundaes. As for new flavors, limited supplies of dolmathes (rice wrapped in grape leaves) and kataifi (a pastry that looks like shredded wheat but tastes a whole lot better) will be sold, Beauchamp said. The event, held rain or shine, will also feature Greek dancing and music.

Greek Food Fair, 5-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday
Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, 35th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue
Tickets: $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Food items also available a la carte.
More Info: (515) 277-0780 or www.stgeorge.ia.goarch.org

DirecTV Adds Greek Network May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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DIRECTV is taking its international programming platform, WorldDirect, to the next level with the launch of its second Greek-language channel, A SAT, the satellite version of the popular Greek channel Alpha TV.

Beginning today, DIRECTV will be the only digital satellite television service provider to offer A SAT throughout the United States.

A SAT offers an array of popular Greek programming, including entertainment, soap-opera, Greek series and movies, national and international news, sports and lifestyle programs. DIRECTV customers can order A SAT as part of the GreekDirect programming package, which also includes the MEGA Cosmos channel for $26.99 per month, or on a la carte basis for $14.99 per month.

A SAT delivers programming for all audiences. For the most up-to-date news, viewers can tune into Kendriko Deltio Eidiseon, whose popular newscasters Mara Zaxarea, Christos Vasilopoulos, Giorgos Aftias, Nikos Kakaounakis and Giorgos Kirtsos, cover in-depth news in Greece and from around the world. In addition, Greek international star Nikos Aliagas will cover art, showbiz and politics. For the latest in fashion, health, music sports and cooking, A SAT offers a variety of lifestyle programming, including Kafes me tin Eleni, hosted by renowned Greek actress, Eleni Menegaki.

WorldDirect customers must first subscribe to DIRECTV BASIC ($9.99/mo) or any DIRECTV base programming package ($29.99/mo or above). For more information on how to receive GreekDirect, customers should call 800-378-7229.

DIRECTV customers will need to use a WorldDirect services satellite dish that is capable of receiving both international and English-language programming. In some markets, customers who subscribe to a local channels package will require a second smaller dish.

Related Links >


Greek shotstopper excited about future at the Ricoh May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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New Sky Blues signing Dimitrios Konstantopoulos expressed his delight at agreeing a three-year deal with the club and is looking forward to battling it out with Coventry player of the year Andy Marshall for the number one spot.

City beat several other interested parties to land the signature of the Greek shotstopper, out of contract at Hartlepool, and now he is eager to prove himself in the Championship.

The 28-year-old, affectionately known as Dimi by Hartlepool fans, bagged Powerade Player of the Month for December and was also named as the 47th most valuable player in FourFourTwo magazine’s recent poll of the 50 Best Players in the Football League after a consistent season for the Pools where he kept 25 clean sheets.

The former Greece Under-21 international said: “I am really proud of my record last season and I hope I can do the same for Coventry City. Every time you keep a clean sheet, you get a point for the team so it’s then down to the rest of the team to score goals”.

Municipality of Galatsi deployed first wireless mesh network in Greece May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Telecoms.
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The Municipality of Galatsi has deployed the first wireless mesh network in Greece, built using Strix Systems hardware. Galatsi is a suburb five kilometers north of Athens with a population of about 60,000.

Calabasas-based Strix Systems, a manufacturer of wireless mesh networking hardware, said today that it is deploying its hardware in a Municipal mesh network in Galatsi, Greece. Galatsi will use the firm’s hardware as part of a fee-based broadband service for residents and businesses. The install comes as part of a 4 sq. km. deployment in the city’s center. The network will allow Municipal employees with access to data, and will also be used for VoIP and video by Municipal police. Financial size of the install was not disclosed. Strix Systems manufacturers wireless hardware which provides WiFi connectivity and automatically connects wirelessly to each other; the hardware enables creation of wireless networks without requiring all of the wireless access points to be wired into a high speed connection.

BGM Ltd., a wireless networking company based in Galatsi, has tested and deployed the Strix system, which covers an area of 4 sq. km. in the city center.

In fall of 2006, BGM deployed the first phase of the network.  Due to the topology of the region, Strix OWS 2400 Series and OWS 3600 Series are particularly well suited to provide coverage over long distances and around buildings, hills, valleys, and forested areas.  Galatsi is densely populated with 60,000 people, adding to the difficulty of providing wireless coverage in the city center and outlying areas. However, the combination of Strix’s high power output, directional and sectorization techniques, and Strix Dynamic Mesh Architecture ™ (Strix DMA™), which optimizes mesh networks, maximizes coverage areas to a radius of 300 to 400 meters.

The network’s primary high-speed connection in the city center enables high throughput in all nodes in the network; Strix Access/One nodes can achieve throughput of over 100 Mbps.  The OWS 3600 Series nodes act as the central nodes for the network while the OWS 2400 nodes are mounted on buildings around the Municipality.

BGM implemented the first phase as a test network, providing free Internet access to all citizens in the coverage area.  The company is now in its second phase of deployment and will continue to expand coverage as needed for Galatsi’s public places, including the Olympic Athletic Center, home of the 2004 Olympics’ gymnastic events, parks, schools, the four main routes in the city, city hall, and the business district. 

“We are extremely satisfied with the performance, flexibility, and cost of Strix products.  They simply work, and work well,” said Theofanis Roussas, General Manager of BGM Ltd.  “Strix’s system has enabled us to not only offer public and secured access with QoS for the Municipality, but also gives us the performance to offer VoIP over the wireless network. We are testing VoIP SIP servers and various dual mode phones, and we are also beginning tests on IP-based video surveillance cameras and surveillance servers, which will be connected to the Strix network for several security applications.”

Municipal employees will be able to easily access data from their laptops wherever they are, which will save time and free them from wirelines in their offices.  Municipal police can use VoIP and video over the network to connect to the central office.  The Strix network will also provide Galatsi with an independent network for emergency communications.

“This deployment shows that Strix’s OWS can provide wireless coverage even in dense urban areas where it can be difficult to establish good line-of-sight,” said Jim Mooreland, Vice President of worldwide sales at Strix.  “The Municipality of Galatsi has a real understanding of the value a wireless mesh network can bring to all constituents of a community, businesses, residents, and the Municipality itself.”

Greek patient blogs hospital graft May 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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Doctors in Athens pledged yesterday to look into accusations of malpractice and corruption made against their colleagues by a dying 30-year-old cancer sufferer who publicized her plight by keeping a popular blog.

It was revealed that Amalia Kalyvinou died on Friday, prompting more than 900 bloggers to log onto her site over the past few days to post messages of condolence. Greek bloggers have also decided to dedicate Friday, June 1, as a day in honor of the philosophy student.

Kalyvinou used her blog over the last two years to detail the problems in the health system as she underwent treatment for cancer. The address of the 30-year-old’s blog, fakellaki.blogspot.com, gives an indication of the type of problems she encountered. Fakellaki, or small envelope, refers to the bribes that patients are sometimes obliged to give doctors so they can obtain preferential treatment.

Kalyvinou made a point of naming the doctors she thought had been professional as well as those she considered to be corrupt. The head of the Athens Medical Association (ISA), Sotiris Rigakis, told daily Kathimerini that his organization will look into the claims of malpractice but admitted that it will be difficult to bring anyone before ISA’s disciplinary committee without hard evidence.

“Unsubstantiated claims are an obstacle to our actions,” said Rigakis. “Nevertheless, ISA condemns doctors who take bribes. If some people are not happy with their pay, they should challenge this through legal means, not by demanding money from patients.”

A recent independent study revealed that 36 percent of patients admit to having bribed a doctor. It is estimated that Greeks spend almost 200 million euros a year on bribing doctors.

In a post on her blog two months ago during a break from chemotherapy, Kalyvinou said that she had come across “illogical bureaucracy” and doctors who “exploited” her financially. She also complained of having been treated in dirty hospitals and being forced to queue for hours to have her health book stamped at IKA social security fund offices.