Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Story of Miriam

July 21, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

Among the 628 refugees who arrived Pozzuolo, Sicily this morning was Miriam, a 17-year-old orphan girl escaping her native Gambia, who crossed the desert and the sea on her own. She told the Doctors Without Borders her story.
Her mother died when she was a small child and her father was taken to prison and never heard from again. He is presumed dead ecause he opposed the current regime in Gambia Miriam had no choice but to take what the call the Hell Road between AgDez in Nigeria and Libya. At Baransate she was the only girl. "They brought me to stay in an abandoned house with 17 other men. (more…)

Aquarius to the rescue finds 22 cadavers of women in a raft

July 21, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

The NGO rescue ship Aquarius was headed to Trapani, Sicily to change crews when at 10 a.m. local time today they received a call from the Italian Navy to return to the Libyan coast to aid two rubber rafts in trouble. Five hours later they arrived and this is what they found.
"As our crew approached the first raft they saw the cadavers floating in a sea of diesel fuel," declared Jens Pagotto, chief of the Doctors Without Borders in charge of the search and rescue missions.. "The survivors remained on the raft with the bodies are too traumatized to be able to tell what happened. It is still difficult to know how these women died."
This 20th rescue operation for the German-French volunteer ship saved 209 people from two sinking rafts, of which 177 were men and 32 were women, including 50 minors. Of the 22 corpses, 21 were women. For original article in French, go to:
http://www.sosmediterranee.fr/journal-de-bord/sauvetage-tragique-en-mer-mediterranee (more…)

Brother Biagio Conte of Palermo made it to Rome on foot, saw Pope today

July 20, 2016

Tags: Fra Biagio, biagio conte, mission, Hope and Charity, walk, rome, protest, letter, pope, president, Via Archrafi, sheds, promise, palermo

In April Brother Biagio Conte took off from Palermo in a fit of pique because his homeless brothers were being mistreated. He decided to walk to Rome carrying a wooden cross. One of his faithful followers walked with him. When the pope heard that Biagio was nearing Rome, he scurried to clear a spot on his appointment calendar to make room for Biagio. This morning Biagio reached Rome and, according to this report in today's Giornale di Sicilia, Pope Francis met with him and Biagio's right-hand man, Father Pino Vitrano, informally for a half hour at one of his rooms at Santa Marta. ( Who was running the three urban homeless shelters, a constant state of emergency, while they were gone, I wonder?) (more…)

At wit's end

July 20, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

Palermo city officials are pleading for help from the Italian national government. All alone they are expected to take care of all the refugees who are brought by rescue ships to the city which can't even afford desks for its schools. Today the largest part of the 1,146 migrants saved in 19 marine operations in the Strait of (more…)

Bodies on the beach, catania, sicily 2014

July 19, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.


Here is the YouTube link in case the embed code did not work.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDlIKr3qiKY

while melania spoke, migrants plowed the seas

July 19, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

Due to favorable weather conditions, the sea was full of migrants on unseaworthy boats and rafts headed to Europe. La Repubblica reports that 2500 of them were saved at sea yesterday and one cadaver recovered from a raft: the man did not make the crossing alive.

New Immigrant tragedy today; at least 20 dead on a raft

July 15, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

Their raft deflated and at least twenty of them drowned while help was on the way in the form of the rescue ship Siem Pilot, according to the Giornale di Sicilia today.
The 366 survivors ( imagine 366 people crowded on a single rubber raft!) were from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Nigeria. 259 of them were men, 82 were women and 25 minors.

Grotta Regina on Capo Gallo

July 15, 2016

Tags: grotta regina, temple, capo gallo, monte gallo, mondello, palermo, prehistory, art, cave art, cave drawings, shepherds, pippo locascio, guide, studioso, protector, teacher, cherish, defend, spread the word



Exactly 30 years ago Pippo LoCascio, a learned man, took me as part of a group to the top of Monte Gallo and showed me La Grotta Regina, the Queen Cave where Phoenicians worshiped their goddess. Thirty years later, Pippo LoCascio still leads groups up the mountain to teach them about their own heritage. It is awe inspiring. I lost ten pounds the first time I made that climb. Video from a staunch La Repubblica reporter.

392nd Feast of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo

July 15, 2016

Tags: santa rosalia, patron saint, palermo, festino, feast day

Once a year she rolls from the cathedral down Corso Vittorio Emanuele to the sea with a stop at the baroque Quattro Canti. 250,000 people were in attendance this year.

Mafia boss Bernardo provenzano is dead

July 14, 2016

Tags: Bernardo Provenzano, mafia, boss, head, dead, jailed, solitary confinement, murders

From The Guardian:
Bernardo Provenzano, who has died aged 83 in a secure hospital, was the former boss of the Corleone clan, once the most vicious and voracious of the Sicilian mafia families. He had been imprisoned in solitary confinement since 2006, serving a number of life sentences for murder.

Provenzano was credited with rescuing Cosa (more…)

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