Author: Mairi Baker

David Cassidy remembered fondly by fans after passing from dementia

David Cassidy — actor, musician, and heartthrob of the ’70s — died Nov. 21, 2017, at the age of 67 from organ failure due to dementia, after being put into a medically induced coma. He was diagnosed with dementia roughly three years ago and revealed it earlier in 2017 when the events of a disastrous concert had fans questioning his sobriety. Cassidy explained that dementia ran in his family and it had been difficult for him to watch the progress of the disease in other family members, including his mother. His death serves as yet another reminder of the debilitating effects dementia can have on both its victims and their families. Cassidy’s career David Cassidy was born in April 1950 in New York City, the son of fellow actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. He became famous for his part as Keith Partridge in “The Partridge Family,” on which he co-starred with his stepmother, Shirley Jones. During the show’s first year on air, Cassidy was nominated and won multiple awards for singing and acting. He also had multiple No. 1 singles and records and, over the next several years, grew a fan base that rivaled that of Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Cassidy’s career took off quickly in 1970 when the show began, but four years later, a tragedy struck that was difficult for him to handle. In May 1974,...

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Opinion: Black Friday experience proves Christmas is love-giving season

As the final leaves drift from the lonely branches of bare trees, we give thanks for another bountiful year and engage in the holiday bustle. I often hear stories of hateful attitudes and unpleasant people who fill local stores and busy streets as holiday shopping becomes stressful and urgent. But honestly, I have yet to see it. This year, I attended a Black Friday event for the first time, against the advice of many, many people. I was warned that it was dangerous, the people were rude and the lines were unbearable. Now, I will admit the lines were somewhat long. However, in every other respect, what I experienced was, in fact, the very meaning of “holiday spirit.” As I made my way through the store, I was greeted with “excuse me,” “please,” “thank you” and all of the other good-manner phrases that ought to be used every day. What I found as I leaned timidly forward to reach a product was that customers nearer than I not only were happy to let me in, but also to help each other to find the right items and sizes. Perhaps, at least here in our lovely town, those who have unpleasant experiences with these events have the wrong attitude themselves. Then there are the anti-Christmas spirit advocates — those who have determined that Christmas spirit only is acceptable during the...

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Lavish and technically flawless, Beauty and the Beast fails to innovate

My excitement to see Disney’s new live-action “Beauty and the Beast” earlier this year could hardly be contained. I heard about it not long after the release of the live-action “Cinderella,” with which I was enamored. I love “Harry Potter” and “Downton Abbey,” so my excitement only increased as I learned that Hermione Granger and Matthew Crawley were to be the beauty and the beast, respectively. I waited eagerly and impatiently for each beautiful snippet released, counting the days until the movie opened. So imagine my dismay upon exiting the cinema, rather unimpressed. The movie was very well done. The graphics were beyond amazing, the colors were vivid and clear, and the artwork strikingly realistic. This all was showcased gorgeously in the sequence for “Be Our Guest,” which contained some of the most impressive computer graphics I have seen. Similarly, the acting was superb. I don’t believe any of the cast could have performed badly had they tried. Emma Watson was a wonderful Belle and her singing voice, while perhaps not operatic, is lovely and, in my opinion, perfect for Belle. Dan Stevens as the Beast was portrayed wonderfully, and I marveled at the emotion conveyed in the facial expressions they allowed to show through the graphics. His singing voice actually was astonishing and, without a doubt, his solo was the highlight of the movie. The fabrics chosen were stunning, but...

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