DOING ANYTHING JUNE FIRST?
If you're free the first week of June and can finagle a cheap roundtrip ticket to London, you might want to accept a very special invitation from a lady named Elizabeth. Those of us who are old enough to have watched a beautiful young woman crowned in one of the first internationally televised major news events, have a hard time realizing two things. First, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was 50 years ago this summer. And, secondly, that the new queen's ebullient mom, the Queen Mum, is still alive today, at age 100. Back to the invitation. Queen Elizabeth II has issued a royal invitation to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of her accession to the throne of England. Among the events announced by Buckingham Palace this week: Photo shows, fireworks, a classical and a rock concert. By the way, 12,000 seats have been earmarked for each concert; more than a million people have picked up chances to win one of them. On the fourth day of the event the queen and her family will ride in a gold-gilded coach through the streets of London as the RAF's Red Arrows aerobatic team flies overhead, followed by a fly-over of a Concorde jetliner. One can assume that security will be super tight.
MORE REMAINS FOUND AT GROUND ZERO
On nearly the six-month observance of the events of Sept. 11 diggers at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan say they have found the remains of 13 people ... 11 firefighters and two civilians. The discoveries were made during the excavation of a roadway beneath what was the South Tower of the World Trade Center. CNN is reporting that the bodies were discovered in one of the few un-searched sections of a lower tier of the building. Although the mayor's office would not confirm a statement made by the city's deputy fire commissioner, it is thought that this will likely be the last pocket to be opened where anyone might be found. The firefighters were from Ladder Company 4. It lost 17 of its men on Sept. 11.
DEAR ABBY JR. FIGURES IN ARREST
Police in Milwaukee say that the current "Dear Abby" -- daughter of the original advice columnist -- helped in the arrest of a man who will likely be charged with sexual abuse of his children. According to published reports, Jeanne Phillips notified police after receiving a letter from the man, who wrote about fantasies involving his young children. The 28-year-old suspected letter writer was arrested on Monday. Phillips told local media that she labored over what to do after receiving the letter, unable to sleep for several nights. She noted that because traditionally everything sent to the column is treated on an anonymous basis, calling the police was a major decision. By the way, although the second generation Abby is now the author of the advice column, her mother continues to contribute from time to time. And, did you know that Dear Abby and Ann Landers are twin sisters ... "Born on the fourth of July" in 1918.
TEXAS HAS FIRST HISPANIC GOV. CANDIDATE
It was a hotly contested primary. But, even before the votes were counted one thing was certain, if either Tony Sanchez or Dan Morales came out on top, Texas would have its first Hispanic Democratic gubernatorial nominee. Well, after millions were spent and the votes were counted, Sanchez -- according to the Houston Chronicle -- "crushed" Morales, winning the right to vie for the governor's chair in November. Sanchez will square off against incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, who ran unopposed in the primary. The publication notes that because Perry did not have to mount an expensive campaign, his party's coffers are more than $13 million in the black. During the primary the two Democratic contenders took part in the state's first-ever Spanish-language broadcast debate.
GALWAY STILL GOING STRONG
One of the world's most celebrated flutists, Sir James Galway, is getting rave reviews for his latest concert tour. Writing for United Press International, Kathleen McLeod says that Galway left the audience breathless, recently, at a concert at the Kennedy Center. Following his appearance in Washington, he moved on to Chapel Hill, N.C., then to Duke University. Eventually his U.S. tour took him to Pennsylvania, New York and Missouri. After his American tour, Galway moves back to Europe with performances scheduled in Switzerland; then it's back to his native United Kingdom in May. It's difficult to understand how active is the Belfast-born Galway when you consider that it wasn't that many months ago that he was undergoing open-heart surgery.
ROSIE CRUSADES FOR CHANGE IN ADOPTION LAWS
Popular personality Rosie O'Donnell is about to go on the offensive against adoption laws in Florida. The Sunshine State is the only one which, according the Miami Herald, flat-out refuses to let same-sex couples adopt a child. Rosie and her long-time partner have three children, adopted in New York. But, they also have a four-year-old foster daughter, entrusted to them by the State of Florida. Now that Rosie has gracefully come out of the closet, she realizes that Florida could want the child back. It would seem that the true driving force behind the entertainer's decision to talk about her personal life was that it made it possible for her to join with the Florida ACLU in fighting the restrictive adoptive rule. Even though gay and lesbian couples are not able to adopt in that state, over 25 percent of all adoptions in Florida are by single parents. Now, according to the Herald, she is focusing much of her energies on the issue. O'Donnell is slated to appear on ABC's "Primetime Thursday" this week.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 288
Today's question is inspired by the flap over the possible cancellation of "Nightline," though we now know that will not be the case ... at least anytime soon. So, here goes. Some months ago we asked what you thought were the most reliable sources for news. Many of us here at United Press International (UPI) were heartened when our name got mentioned. But, in the wake of the tug of war between Disney and ABC over programming, and the knowledge that nearly all of the large network newsrooms are run by the "entertainment" divisions of their companies, it may be time to ask the question again: "What sources do you feel are the most trustworthy when it comes to supplying news?" Put NEWSROOM in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
CONTINUING TO CATCH UP ON OLD QUESTIONS
Here are some of your replies to questions that went un-reported during our prolonged in-box outage: Our question about EMERGENCIES got some interesting replies. For example, cricketn reports that "I just moved in December to an apartment and realized I better get my emergency gear all in one place ... it's all over right now and I didn't realize it until I read your survey question." Nice to know we serve at least one positive purpose! PO says that her mother was a nurse and she has always been prepared, knowing first aid and then CPR as a member of the Canadian version of the Girl Scouts. She has a fire extinguisher in every room and a flashlight. Great idea. Pam reports that everything is in order except for some missing bandages. Melba reports that when a kitchen fire threatened to spread she found that the family fire extinguisher was EMPTY. Her husband remembered a can of Fire Out in their antique car. That saved the day ... and the house. And Elizabeth in Virginia Beach says she is totally ready with smoke detectors, battery backups, stored canned goods and bottled water, and her trunk is full of stuff. Well, you can't be too prepared. Now, on the topic of SPAM, I was appalled by the amount of junk mail you report you get via computer. Ironically, after asking that question, the "survey" mailbox at UPI that is associated with this column has begun to get ads for all sorts of things. Maybe a disgruntled reader sold the address to someone. The responses to the question were so numerous I only have had time to reach in a grab a few. Here goes: Peggy says she had 72 e-mails the day she checked and only 26 were real; the others were ads. And she brings out another point (and I've noticed this also). Even though many of the ads give you a chance to "unsubscribe," many of the links to accomplish that are bogus. Romayne is "sick of all the junky ads. I get up to 25 a day," she reports. Amanda in Texas reports getting 42 pieces of junk in one day. Incredible. Mike&Tish got an astonishing 50 the other day. Of the samples I took, PS holds the record ... 65 in one day. Makes you wonder how much good mail she got. Also, the general comments usually noted that the Internet is a wonderful thing, but dealing with all the junk makes it less of a wonderful place. TOMORROW: Your thoughts on giving up a pet, keeping an heirloom and dealing with horrible living quarters. GBA.