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Marcos Baghdatis advances in Marseille February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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Marcos Baghdatis served 10 aces en route to a straight sets victory over the Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the Open 13 tournament on Tuesday evening in Marseille.

The sixth seeded Cypriot broke the serve of the 2006 winner in each set to claim a well deserved victory in one hour and 19 minutes. Baghdatis will now face the winner of the match between the Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the second round which is scheduled for this afternoon.

Baghdatis never played against Karlovic at an ATP or Grand Slam main draw event, while he beat Feliciano Lopez in their sole meeting in the second round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2006 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

On the same day (Tuesday), the popular Cypriot was handed the third and final wildcard for next week’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Baghdatis was one of the players who made a late withdrawal from last year’s edition, which was plagued by pullouts, so this decision could prove controversial.

“I felt uncomfortable about not being able to play last year, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to participate,” read a statement form Baghdatis.

However, the tournament director, Richard Krajicek, said that he took the decision after discussions with Baghdatis’ management.

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Sunshine Cup to bring mountain-bike elite to Cyprus February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cycling.
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The 2008 Sunshine Cup, the premier mountain-bike race series on the island, will this year be made up of five races, beginning on February 23 in Tochni Village.

As the first Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) races of the calendar year, the Sunshine Cup traditionally attracts a smattering of the world’s top cross-country racers. This year, Cannondale-Vredestein pros Fredrik Kessiakoff and Roel Paulissen will use the races to prepare for the upcoming World Cup season.

World champion Sabine Spitz will also be taking part on the women’s side. Local interest will concentrate on Cyprus champion George Fattas. There will be participants from more than 17 countries taking part. All are members of their national Olympic teams.

Organiser Michalis Hadjioannou said: “We have been trying hard during the winter to bring some changes to the event to make it more interesting for participants. Some stages have been improved and parts changed. Now they are safer and more enjoyable for the riders. He also stated that the race will help promote sports tourism on the island. “In a recent Cyprus Tourism Organisation survey, it was found that cycling was the second most popular sport in Cyprus, and together with football attracts 77 per cent of athletes who come to Cyprus for training and participation in events. The island is becoming more and more popular as a cycling destination.”

Nakis Michaelides, President of the Cyprus Cycling Federation, said that the Sunshine Cup is one of the top European cycling competitions, with the Federation praised by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, for previous versions of the event.

On his part, Andreas Panayides, Vice-Chairman of the CTO said: “This is the fourth successive year that we are involved in this race, which is very beneficial to the image of the island abroad. Specifically, cycling is a very popular tourist activity in north and central Europe, which are both important markets for Cyprus.

“This is why cycling tourism constitutes a priority in our tourism development strategy. It is important because it is not affected by seasonality and contributes to repeat visitors, as well as to the enrichment of our tourist product.”

Schedule >
February 23 > Tochni Village
February 29 > Mantra-Kionia-Mantra
March 2 > Mantra tou Kampiou
March 9 > Voroklini
March 16 > Limassol-Yermasogia

Related Links > www.mtbcyprus.com

Limassol gears up for carnival February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Festivals.
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Limassol Municipality yesterday announced its plans for the ten-day carnival festival, which will start on February 28.

The Municipality has announced the introduction of a number of new features to this year’s events. A live ‘King Carnival’ will be reappearing to launch the carnival, replacing the puppet that has been featured in recent years.

The Municipality also announced that three carnival-related exhibitions would take place during the festival, the performance by Cuban band ‘Son Cubanos’ at the Patticheion Theatre and at the Old Market and the participation of three groups from Patras Carnival in the main parade.

To boost the festive spirit, the Municipality will also open two carnival cafes at Grigori Afxendiou Square for the carnival days, while lively music will be played at central spots in the town.

The Children’s Carnival Parade will take place at Anexartisias Street on Sunday March 2 at 11.30pm. The main parade, considered the climax of events, will take place at Makarios Avenue on Sunday March 9 at 1.30pm.

Greek Dinner on March 2 February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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St. George Greek Orthodox church to host a Greek Dinner on March 2

If your craving baklava and can’t wait until the Greek Festival in September, not to worry. St. George Greek Orthodox Church is hosting a Greek Dinner from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the church, 701 11th Avenue, Huntington.

The menu includes lamb or chicken, Greek-style potatoes and green beans, spanakopita (spinach triangles), tiropita (cheese triangles), salad, bread and baklava, as well as coffee or tea.

Advance tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for children younger than 10. Tickets will be $16 at the door.

Call (304) 525-5634 or (304) 522-7890 for tickets. For more information, visit www.stgeorgehwv.org

Feta cheese essential in Greek cuisine February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece.
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In Greek cuisine, Feta is a curd cheese in brine. It is traditionally made from goat’s and/or sheep’s milk although cow’s milk may be substituted.

It is an aged cheese, commonly produced in blocks, and has a slightly grainy texture. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads, pastries and in baking, but mostly is edible on its own. It is used in the popular Greek phyllo-based dishes spanakopita “spinach pie” and tyropita “cheese pie”.

14-02-08_feta_cheese.jpg  Feta is a popular cheese worldwide. Feta is salted and cured in a brine solution which can be either water or whey for several months. Feta dries out rapidly when removed from the brine. Feta cheese is white, usually formed into square cakes, and can range from soft to semi-hard, with a tangy, salty flavour that can range from mild to sharp. The cured cheese easily crumbles apart. Its fat content can range from 30 to 60 percent; most is around 45 percent milk fat. 

Feta is also an important ingredient of Greek salad. Feta, like most cheeses, can also be served cooked; it is sometimes grilled as part of a sandwich or as a salty alternative to other cheeses in a variety of dishes.

Greek mythology event to be at library February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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Fans of Greek mythology and the “Percy Jackson and the Olympian” series are invited to “Camp Half-Blood,” from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at the Iowa City Public Library.

Children will divide into cabins and work with their peers, learning ancient Greek, conquering a labyrinth, practicing swordplay and archery.

Kids can arrive beginning at 1:30 p.m. The event is for children in grades third through sixth grades. To register, call 356-5200, option 6.

New mobile desalination plant in Limassol February 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment.
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The Cyprus government signed a contract with a private consortium for the installation of a mobile desalination plant to supply water to the southern coastal town of Limassol.

The plant will produce 20,000 cubic metres of desalinated water per day and is expected to operate until the completion of a permanent desalination unit in Episkopi, near Limassol. Water produced by the mobile plant will be sold to the Water Development Department at the price of 1.38 euro per cubic metre.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Fotis Fotiou said the plant constitutes a ”very important project” which will solve the water supply problem of Limassol for the next three years. He added that the mobile plant will be operational in eight months.

Cyprus has been facing water shortages, due to drought, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in the island’s water reserves. According to statistics released by the Water Development Department, 27.1% of Cyprus’ water supplies in 2007 come from desalination plants.